Monday, November 28, 2011
Sermon Part 2: Youth ministry
There are three problems with youth ministry: 1) there is no clear mandate in the Bible that we should have youth ministry 2) It takes the God-given responsibility from the parents and then also from the church as a whole 3) youth ministry has not accomplished what it started out to and now needs to be "reformed". Many churches have switched from having a youth group (ages 12-18) to what they now call "Students Ministries" and has expanded to include the college age "kids" too. Seems young adults no longer want to grow up and join "big" church bc there are no games and the songs are boring and the elders "just don't get it!" So a church within a church has been created, a sub-culture that does not include parents. They are being taught, whether out-right ot inadvertently, that "big" church is not relevent, the pastor doesn't understand you, only the youth minister fully understands, there is simply no place for you with the "big" church or place for your parents or church elders in your service. That the old ways no longer work, everything has to be new. No hymns, I think hymns are very relevent to us and it saddens me that so many churches simply refuse to ever sing a hymn anymore. See Colossians 4:2-6, Ephesians 2:10 and 4:11-14. I find it interesting regarding that last reference that some use these verses to back up "student ministries" but they cut it off before verse 14, that clearly states there comes a time to put childishness behind you. Hmmm..... We cannot find ant scripture supporting age seperation in church, instead we see many verses that would support integration instead. For example the Titus 2 mandate for the old women to teach the young women, you cannot have that happen if the older women are never around the younger women. You cannot OUTimpact a parent! Someone named Christian Smith did a survey on the theology of our youth to see what they believe: 1) a god exists - created and orders the world and watches over life (note though that this does not define God as the one and only, the Alpha/Omega, only acknowledges that a god does seem to exist) 2) God wants people to be good, nice and fair as taught in the Bible and most world religions (but there is none good - no not one, none righteous except God! This basically states that today's youth believe all religions are basically equal, that we all serve the same god, but this is simply not true! There is only one true God, the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The Great I Am!) 3) central goal of life is be happy and feel good about oneself (what about all the verses about serving others and not seeking self?) 4) God does not particularly need to be involved in one's life except as needed to resolve a problem (so we just ignore Him all other times?) 5) good people go to Heaven when they die (but the Jesus clearly states in the Bible, "no one comes to the Father but by me") This is the product or our youth ministries. I want to leave you with a few more thoughts. If you win a father's heart, you will gain his family! but churches try to do this backwards, they want to gain the children to get through to the parents, when it should be the other way around. Let the fathers lead their families, teach the fathers and encourage them! Trust that the Word, God's Word, is sufficient!