Posted by: judy | April 1, 2009

Youth Ministry, a 15 year old’s point of view

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Erica had an assignment at school. She was charged with writing an editorial on the subejct of her choice. She chose to write about youth groups. As her mom states proudly (and rightly so), “she came up with the topic herself and all observations are her own.”

A new phenomena is going on in churches these days. Picture this: You enter into the youth group of a church on a Sunday or Wednesday night. You see at least fifty kids around. Some are off talking or playing a game, but most are in a circle watching and laughing at something. You move closer into the circle and see the youth pastor and a kid trying to eat a banana through pantyhose covering their heads. You look around and notice no open Bibles, no sound of hymns or worship music, and no one praying. All you see is just a group of teenagers watching an adult and one of their peers awkwardly trying to eat a banana. You think to yourself, “Is this supposed to be church? This looks more like a party!” Well, unfortunately, this is church now. Youth group used to be opening your Bible and hearing what God had to say to you. It used to be led by someone older, someone with more experience and wisdom on how to live a godly life. It used to be about learning to listen to God and keeping Him close to your heart. Not anymore. Don’t get me wrong, though, they still do open Bibles, and maybe sing a few praise songs. The youth pastor might read a verse or two, but only after losing the kids’ attention and respect because of his display of looking like a fool.

According to Life Way research, 70% of 18-22 year olds drop out of church for at least one year. Ninety-seven percent of these church drop-outs reported that a “life change” was their reason for leaving the church. One of these “life changes” included wanting a break from church. Now why would someone who had gone to church for years and years, suddenly just want a break? There are many reasons for this, I suppose, but here’s my theory: These kids have grown to perceive church as being a joke. Watching their youth pastor do lame “gross out” games, and listening to music that is more like a copy-cat version of secular music, with Jesus thrown in here and there, has made teenagers see church as uncool and fake. Church, especially youth group, is no longer about conviction and growing closer to God, but has instead turned into a hang-out for people who don’t “do” church. Because of this, a lot of teenagers, who have grown up in the church, don’t even know that they are sinners.

So what’s the solution to this church problem? Well, I believe the perfect answer comes from C.S. Lewis when he was asked the question,“ Do you feel, then, that modern culture is being de-Christianized?” and answered with this: “…I have some definite views on the de-Christianizing of the church. I believe that there are many accommodating preachers, and too many practitioners in the church who are not believers. Jesus Christ did not say, ‘Go into all the world and tell the world that it is quite right.’ The Gospel is something completely different. In fact, it is directly the opposed to the world.” What C.S. Lewis says here is so true, in that, churches should not be accommodating to the world, but be different and set apart. We are to be, as Christ Himself said, “the light and salt of the earth.” We must be the opposite of this dark world. We must be the light.

HT: Voice of the Sheep

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Responses

  1. Thank you for this post. Presents much to think about.

  2. Very well said. Too many youth pastors are much too young and are looking to be buddies rather than mentors. Our teens (as well as younger ones) are being fed spiritual junk food.

  3. Now that is one wise 15 year old.

  4. Erica, you have amazed me with your wisdom beyond your years. But not only that, you have made me so proud to be your grandad. Your Christian Faith as you have been taught by your parents is the most important thing in life. When you go to college and if you are exposed to liberal professors, then your deep abiding faith will steer you away from the nonsense of the world. Do not let any teacher of higher learning persuade you against your faith.

    • Bill, Thank you for stopping by and identifying yourself as Erica’s grandfather. You have rasied your family to seek His face. Well done, good and faithful servant.


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