Sunday, February 28, 2010

Youth Ministry - A Controversial Topic

I had no intention of blogging tonight, but this is what happens sometimes after reading other blogs.

The headline on the blog Colleidoscope caught my eye: Youth Ministries: Wasted Opportunities. The article basically quoted the following two articles:

http://www.crosstalkblog.com/2009/12/time-to-dump-youth-ministry-in-churches/

and;

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20091212/modern-youth-ministry-unbiblical-ministry-leader-claims/index.html


I am going to go on the record as saying that I am absolutely, 100 percent in agreement with both of these articles. I have made reference to this opinion of mine in a past post.

The second article in particular makes some very strong statements. It calls Youth Ministry a "new invention in the history of the church" and a "50 year failed experiment".

One quote also particularly draws my attention:

"This age segregation allows for the real possibility that children and adults can be completely "socialized" by the greater culture in which they live instead of through parental discipleship and be void of any firm foundational understanding of truth of the world around them."

My first homeschool conference was when I began to form this very strong opinion. Since then I have come to a full-throttle-absolute-unwavering belief: Parents (with the guidance, of course, of the pastor and the preached word of God) need to disciple their children. Not other youths. Not other youth leaders. I am not criticizing youth leaders. I do believe (in general) that most have just followed in the footsteps of their predecessors and led youth in such a way that they were led. By-in-large, I do not believe that it has worked.

I believe that youth need to have fun. I believe that youth need to laugh until their sides hurt. But I do not believe that any of this needs to be done at YOUTH ONLY activities. They can be done with PARENTS ONLY. And they can be done with PARENTS, joined by other youth and/or church activities. They do not need to be segregated continually.

Thank God for youth leaders who have truly dedicated their lives - with the most honourable of intentions - to the youth. But it's really time for the parents to step up to the plate, involve themselves in their youth's lives, teach them the foundations of truth, build a strong relationship with them, and become their child's role model.

Because, as most homeschooling parents say (about teaching): That's really the job that God gave ME, the parent.

5 comments:

Julie Cortens said...

AMEN!!

Rachel Peterson said...

Definitely agree with you. Nothing good can come out of searching for peer acceptance.

Rachel said...

Amen! As youth leaders for our district, I see first hand the lack of parental influence. Because of this, it's up to us to lead the young people. We have our work cut out for us, but love every minute. And as parents of (several) little ones, we see the good it does to be constantly involved in teaching them the Word. Thanks- again!- for the thought provoking post!
-RG

Darla said...

I wish it were a perfect world, and that this was not an issue. However, summed up for me: Youth leaders/ministers make excellent mentors for youth who do not have the privilege of a strong parental bond. By that I mean those youths whose parent(s) do not even go to church or have a walk with God. I will maintain, however, that those who have the privilege of parents living for God are best sticking close to mama and papa (or should I say that mama and papa should stick close to their youths). And limiting their time with their peers. Period. I do not DIG YOUTH GROUPS. I love youths (I was one in the church), believe I understand them, and for that very reason I do not believe in youth segregation (otherwise known as youth groups).

Thanks for the comments, ladies.

QuicklyHome said...

Couldn't agree with you more Darla.

I think SS and Youth Groups should be mainly a way to evangelize and disciple new converts, but unfortunately there are few parent who really feel like it their responsibility to train and disciple their own children. SO thank God for the work that Youth leaders do.

The Bible tells young men to be sober minded, self controlled. That is a high calling in our perverse culture.