What Should the Church Expect From Teens

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by freeatlast, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    As time goes by, the numbers of Christian teens falling away continue to climb. One of the main causes of the problem is that we expect so little from the youth in the church. If a teen comes to worship and class periods and makes it to some of the youth group activities, we consider them to be doing well. The fact is, we treat them like youth group members and not Christians. What should we expect from teens?....
    http://www.studyyourbibleonline.com/random/what-should-the-church-expect-from-teens/
     
    #1 freeatlast, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2011
  2. annsni

    annsni
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    While we belong to a larger church, we have a smaller church campus where everyone on the launch team (the team that came from the home church to help us get started) is important, even the teens. We need them to help in so many ways and so we expect a lot from them. Not just service help (doing things) but spiritual help in prayer, teaching and things like that. The kids are really stepping up! It's been great to see!

    I also personally expect my own teens to have their own relationship with the Lord but I do not do anything to make it happen other than just walk the walk. I encourage them but do not make them do anything. My girls are now 18 and 21 and they both have a strong relationship with the Lord and are in the Word daily on their own. They are both in ministry leadership and work with the younger girls in different ways (mentoring, dance leadership, teaching small groups for girls, etc.). It warms my heart to see them walking with the Lord on their own - without me holding their hands. :)
     
  3. JohnDeereFan

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    Our church has a real training attitude.

    As a part of our membership process, it's made very clear that you're not just joining a social organization or just someplace you can go to kill some time on Sunday morning until the ball game starts, but that this is a ministry and you're expected to undergo training for ministry and then to be involved in ministry.

    That's kind of shocking for a lot of people, particularly young people and we have a lot of people who begin the membership process and then realize that they've signed up for more than they planned to and quit. Too many people have been conditioned to just show up on Sunday morning, maybe Wednesday night, and then you never see them again. It's kind of like a Dodgers' game, where everybody goes to be seen at the Dodgers' game, but nobody actually cares about the team.

    But look at Hebrews 5, where he rebukes them for not equipping themselves. He's not just talking to one group, he's talking to all of them. Young and old.

    By the time you're a member, you've already completed one class and should have completed two.

    When it comes to our teens, the first thing we do is to make sure that they're not segregated by age. We don't lock them off in a room in the basement, but we include them and we hold them to the same standards and expectations as we do the adults. Where possible, we try to pair them up with an elderly person in the church for mentorship.

    We throw them in the deep end pretty quickly.

    If there's one thing I've learned in twenty years as a father (eight kids), a teacher, a mentor to at-risk children, and a pastor, it's that children will meet the goals you set for them. If you set the bar low, then they'll aim low. If you set the bar high, then they'll aim high.

    That's why most of our kids know more about church history, systematic theology, the historic creeds, confessions, and catechisms of the church, etc, than most adults in most other churches.

    As a result, we have eleven young men we're training for preaching/teaching and evangelism ministry, teens on our evangelism team, teens on our visitation team, teens on our counseling team, teens on our training staff, etc.

    I honestly don't know any other church that is as aggressive about making their teens as much a part of the church we are. It certainly isn't because we're so great and wonderful, but because too many churches have bought into the lie our culture tells that children can't handle the heavy lifting of theology or ministry.

    I know I'm going to get blasted for saying these things, but we believe that young people are a vital part of our church and treat them as such.
     
  4. freeatlast

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    That is very encouraging. I only wish this was more the norm then the exception at least it is the exception in this area.
     
  5. JohnDeereFan

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    You'd be surprised. There is a big movement on right now, particularly in Reformed circles, to get away from some of the cultural things that have crept into the church and start doing more serious things.
     

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