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 ...
A lifestyle of worship is much, much better than a philosophy of worship. I have been on both sides of this argument and the lifestyle of worship is not only superior but leads to an instinctual Godly life. The rationalist approach (philosphy) didn’t work for me.
Problem with the youth ministries I’ve seen is they don’t let the youth run them. Middle school and high schoolers should be put in charge from start to finish, with the adults monitoring. Just like the Boy Scouts. The activities would be a lot more relevant to spiritual growth of the youth that way.
Good youth ministry is invaluable. I don’t think the concept has failed. I figure individual churches fail at it at about the same rate as they fail at adult ministry.
I find nothing objectionable about teaching kids or youth differently than you’d teach adults. First of all, it takes the kids out so the adults can listen — rather than wrangling the kids (the reality of parenting). Second, kids are more restless, than adults — there are better ways to reach them than your standard adult sermon.
Third, if your church is doing what it should, there will occasionally be sermons that are less appropriate for small children to hear. Adults need to be taught adult theology, and adult problems need to be addressed ... and, sometimes, its best not to do that in front of the kids.
I attend the largest conservative Baptist congregation in the Country (as far as I am aware) — Second Baptist Church in Houston, TX. The children’s and youth ministry was part of what got us to try that particular church — and I wouldn’t trade the ministry my daughter is receiving for anything (my other two are a bit young to receive much ministry ... they receive babysitting).
Clearly, Christ’s own earthly ministry would have been more effective if he just had a youth basketball program, alternative worship service on saturday nights, roller-skating parties, and pizza.
What you’ve been saying has completely removed the work of the Holy Spirit from effectual calling, salvation, and sanctification.
Leave it up to people? Leave it to programs? Have the right kids ministry and parents will come? Does this save people in 3rd-world countries? Did it save people in 1st-century Rome? Europe during the Renaissance? America during the great Awakening?
Charles Spurgeon should have just put on a goofy hat, gotten some puppets, and told a cute story about Noah?
Church does NOT need to be relevant to society. The gospel is the exact OPPOSITE of what society says people should want, so how can you “win them” by using the very means that destroys culture? Listen to this great Christian rock band! It’s just like what’s on the radio - only cleaner and about Jesus! Good grief, seriously?
The gospel is a scandal, it’s offensive to sinners - and can’t/won’t/shouldn’t be dressed up and made to look like something that it’s plainly not.
God, through his Spirit, calls sinners to repentance, regenerates sinful hearts, and causes them to walk in his ways - all of this, done through the faithful preaching of his word.
This whle notion that someone makes a profession of faith, attends the cool programs, falls away, then comes back in their 30’s is not a problem that needs to be fixed by better kids programs. It’s a problem of identifying false conversions. An emotional response to a sad song about God when the lights are low and the lasers are shining is not the same as God’s spirit regenerating the heart of a sinner. One lasts because it’s purposed by God, the other doesn’t because it’s purposed by man.
The church must be engaged in society. To fail to do so is to step back from The Great Commission.
if you don’t like how we do it, do yours differently.
I agree. Seen it to many times.
Also have seen a young youth pastor start dating the older high school girls. Tears apart a congregation when that happens.
For those who are concerned about this issue, I recommend the following website:
National Center for Family Integrated Churches
“Engaged” in society as far as preaching the gospel, in season and out, baptizing and discipling. Problem is, the church has confused “engaged” with “engrossed” and has attempted to mirror the very same society people need to be saved from! The doctrines of Regeneration, Sactification, and Piety have been replaced, to the church’s detriment.
We have program after program after program in the states, and aren’t seeing close the conversion statistics as 3rd-world/impoverished/communist nations are. Why is that? When they have to meet in caves and fields in China under fear of death, do you think they’re worried about whether or not the ‘Movie Nite Spectacular Spectacular’ is going to draw 200 kids or else the pastor has promised to kiss a pig?
Did the 1st-century church have a special gathering time on Saturday nights, complete with nature-painted backdrops and grilled ox in order to appeal to the Pagans?
Recall the day of Pentecost - the audience was in short called sinful murderers, the truth was spoken, and thousands were saved.
No bowling team or Kidz Karnival required.
“We have program after program after program in the states, and arent seeing close the conversion statistics as 3rd-world/impoverished/communist nations are.”
Because many of those in 3rd world countries are nativist or from another religious group. When the hear the word of God they convert. It is very different than their native religions and the love and blessings that God showers on those who believe in His Son are very foreign to their existence. I am a financial partner for two evangelistic organizations that are very active in 3rd world countries and the Word is rapidly spreading. I also run my own that drills wells in Africa.
“Did the 1st-century church have a special gathering time on Saturday nights, complete with nature-painted backdrops and grilled ox in order to appeal to the Pagans?”
The early church had the practice of weekly eating together and if it was anything like our pot lucks, visitors were invited and welcome (I’m Southern Baptist and go to the same church as SnakeDoc. Southern Baptists eat together a lot.)
Every year we have a large (4-5000 people) barbecue at church and a lot of visitors come. Just one more out reach program.