Skip to comments.Has Youth Ministry Failed?
Posted on 05/09/2012 6:02:44 AM PDT by marshmallow
Should we abandon Youth Ministry? Patrick Archbold at the excellent Creative Minority Report has posted a provocative article headed Youth Ministry Has Failed. I agree with him that
We have 2,000 years of doctrine, liturgy, art, and music upon which to draw in order to bolster the faith and Catholic identity of our youth and we give them watered down doctrine, bad music, bad liturgy, and felt banners. Our youth deserve more.
He refers to an article on U.S.: Modern Youth Ministry a '50-Year Failed Experiment,' Say Pastors and quotes a section in which the view is advanced that "dividing children from adults at church is an unbiblical concept borrowed from humanistic philosophies."
This is worthy of discussion. Since I was a teenager myself, I have been involved in events which are specifically for young people - either teenagers or young adults. Coming into contact with home-schoolers and those organising Family Days of various sorts, I have come to see the advantage of having events for a mixed age group.
A standard criticism of home-schooling is that the children are deprived of socialising. Home-schoolers will naturally respond wryly that the kind of socialising that goes on in a narrow peer group at school is one of the reasons for home-schooling in the first place. At Youth Ministry events organised for a peer group, the question of discipline or "appropriate behaviour", call it what you will, often presents a major task for the organisers. There are usually statements on the invitation literature about standards of behaviour and sanctions. Somebody generally has to oversee these things and they can become a headache. I have also heard parents complain at times about the bad influences that their children are exposed to.
At Family Days and home-schooling events, this problem is markedly reduced.
(Excerpt) Read more at the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com ...
I don’t think for a second youth ministry has failed.
For teens, there are excellent events for them to attend and spend time with their age-group.
For kids, Sunday School and stuff like that is when they are most likely to be reached and most likely to make a commitment.
What has failed, is the watering down of Christianity to try to attract people. This is done in both adult and youth ministries.
Just youth ministry? Sounds like a typical ordinary form Sunday mass to me.
You would be correct. Between youth ministries that don't integrate the youth with the adults and church having two services, with one being "traditional" and the other "contemporary", we divide the Body of Christ within our own ranks.
My pastor put it this way: Often, we (the church) bring the kids in through the youth ministry, and often keep them segregated from the rest of the church (this is especially true for para-church youth ministries). Then, when they are too old for the youth ministries, they are removed from the only church they knew, and discover that the rest of the body does not worship they way they knew. Then they become disaffected with the church, and leave.
The Church should not be segregated into groups. According to the Bible, we are all one body with Christ as the head.
Many young people are joining the Orthodox bodies that have not deviated from that central teaching about the Church.
The Youth Ministry at my parish had over 100 youths participate in a 24 hour Food Fast on Easter weekend. They raised over $10,000 for Catholic Relief.
If you keep the youth seperated from Church, yes. I don’t see a problem with having a contemporary service or a more tradiitional service to choose from. It’s a matter of preference. As long as both services are sticking to the word and not watering down their message there is no problem.
My grandfather goes to a church that has two services. He went to the contemporary service one week and did not like it. Said it was too loud. That’s fine. Both services preach the word. The church doesn’t say that they are two different churches.
It’s no different than a church having 3 services to accomadate the amount of people. Is that church 3 different churches? No. It’s one.
In my own experience, I went to a relatively small church (<200 regulars) that decided to have the contemporary/traditional service. They scheduled the traditional service at 9:30 and the contemporary at 11. As a result, the church self-segregated into two camps that only met between services. As a result, the church was weakened by the lack of fellowship, and many were disaffected and left. Only after they abandoned the split service did they thrive again (and even then, the damage was done).
Agreed. Not only do we segregate them, but we usually entrust them to a young, single person with zero practical experience in raising kids. I suppose that's okay if they're looking for a buddy who can relate to them. However, I would prefer that they find a mentor who can provide spiritual guidance that reinforces the values that we're trying to instill...
It’s a danger. It takes good leadership to bridge that gap.
I disagree. If you can get teh children into church, and by that phrase I do mean that the kids are excited about going to church, they will be a Christian for life. The may not go in their 20s as we see so often, but they will be back.
We have about 9,000 children in our church and they can’t wait to get there on Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon, and Wednesday nights and Saturdays for special events, and Vacation Bible school, and camping trips in the summer, and etc. We have kids who come from other churches to our Vacation Bible School and then attend their own the week after.
As far as music goes, the contemporary Christian music, loud and fast, is many times their humming music. It also is used as dance music at their non church parties.
Worship should be lifestyle and Children’s Ministries are a big part of that. Start them early. Make it stick.
I am sorry to say that the youth ministry in our old church just came to a screeching halt within the last 2 months. The married 35 year old youth minister was having an affair with a girl from the youth congress. It has shattered the youth in the church and caused many families to leave. I am thankful we moved to a different parish after a new pastor started his liberal leanings about 5 years ago, or my daughter would have been right in the mist of it. This kind of thing rocks the youth and destroys their very foundations of trust. It is truly said that one man’s sins can cause so much damage. Please pray for our youth, especially one’s who truly love God and want to live a faith filled life. They are being attacked on so many levels and really need our prayers to help sustain them on their journey of faith.
Dear goodness, that's a lot of kids. Awesome though.
I agree whole heartedly though. If we don't find sound doctorine that relates to kids, they will lose interest. Don't water it down, but make it relate to them.
That’s rough. Satan’s attacks are real and strong.
Youth Ministries must have ZERO TOLERANCE for any kind of documented sexual misbehavior. These are happy hunting grounds for the damed DEVIL.
That is exactly what we do. Get to them early and get them thinking adult thoughts and they really respond.
It is a lot of kids. Sometimes it seems as if I am going to church with munchkins.
Church's have not done anything to attract younger people. My church still plays the same old geezer hymms from the turn of the last century. I just can't relate.
Church's put those hokey old sayings out on signs such as "What is missing from ch__ch? I think of Aunt Bee types thinking those things up while doing her needlepoint.
And they wonder why younger people have no interest.
Correct. In some denominations, religion is becoming little more than a marketing exercise to see who can attract the most college students. Unfortunately, mine is one and I've been fighting that for years.
Several reputable studies show that between 84% and 92% of children who have attended Sunday School flee the Church by age 30. If these figures are even close to accurate Sunday School (or “age-segregated” learning) is a dismal failure. Apparently it’s not only the government that clings to failed programs . . .
The Sunday School movement, which began in Britain in the late 1800s as a children’s literacy movement, is most certainly the new kid on the block. It’s time to recover the Biblical pattern of parents teaching their own children and parents and children growing together in the Lord.
That is truly awesome though. It’s so important to reach those kids when they are younger.