Youth groups and other modern ideas?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Daniel David, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. Daniel David

    Daniel David
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    5,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is there anyone here that disagrees with the modern idea of youth group? I posted the name of the thread to get attention. I will reveal my view later.

    [ December 03, 2002, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: Barnabas ]
     
  2. GrannyGumbo

    GrannyGumbo
    Expand Collapse
    <img src ="/Granny.gif">

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    The granny & her bunch disagrees.
     
  3. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I don't know. Whats the problem?
     
  4. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    I don't know what you mean by 'modern idea', but for both my own children and the teens I have worked with, they have been Godsends. Even when, as with some, the Bible is not a major factor in the group discussions, the kids are still directed towards more healthy and sane relationships and activities.

    I am not relegating Bible or Christian study to second place at all, so please don't misunderstand me. But what I am saying is that even the 'least of these' has benefits which I, and many other parents, are grateful for. The pull towards drugs, sex, alcohol, vandalism, gangs, cheating on tests -- you name it, all up and down the scale of destructive activities -- is so great now; far worse then when I was growing up in the fifties and sixties. Even the least of these groups helps keep kids from self-destructing in these ways.

    And from my own experience I can say almost point blank that one of the major goals we need to have with all the teens today is to give them time. Making that bid for time is a major goal of many youth groups -- time to mature, to grow up before decisions are made which will affect their entire lives. This, to me, is part of loving one's neighbor.

    The best of the youth groups have dedicated and concentrated Bible studies as well as the social activities and, of course, those are the ones I prefered for my children and to be involved in myself.

    The teen years are a time of breaking away from mom and dad and becoming a person of one's own. And while family worship on Sunday (or Saturday) is very much to be commended and encouraged, the fact that we can get these teens into church at all is big.

    My daughter's youth group did an interesting thing. There is a Circle K mart near where they meet. A year ago the kids in the Bible study decided to start mixing a bit before and after the study with the gangs of kids who hung out with skateboards at the Circle K (driving the owners and other adults nuts).

    The Bible study kids weren't judgmental or preachy. They just made friends. Gradually some of the skateboard gangs started coming to the Bible study group, out of curiosity, for something to do, maybe a spiritual hunger...

    Several of them converted. There is no magic happy ending here, of course. Some is not all. But ALL were given time off from the path they were following and a slightly broader vision of what life could be for them. So many kids are products of divorce or both parents working that they feel rootless and drifting. Anchoring in a bit to a youth group is a wonderful thing for them. Adults that care are there. Kids to be friends with are there. Help is available there for tutoring or just sounding off about anger or frustrations.

    Youth groups give our kids time -- precious time to grow up in and a chance to do that before deciding to do things which might damage so much.

    My oldest son, at 29 belongs to a young professionals group in his church and they have a wonderful time with each other, both serving the community and going on fun outings as a group as well as their weekly Bible studies. There are very few serious Christians in some of the professional fields now, so to be able to meet together once or twice a week is a real boon and joy to them.
     
  5. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was a youth couselor for several years. I'm generally in favor if specialized youth groups.

    BTW - If you want more attention, you should start a thread entitled "Free All You Can Eat Buffet".
     
  6. Headcoveredlady

    Headcoveredlady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, Preacher, I do not allow my youth to attend these gatherings either. It is mine and my husbands job to disciple our children. However I am not saying that for children from unsaved families the Lord can't use this.

    HCL
     
  7. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    And if only children from unsaved families attend, who will they be friends with? OTHER childen from unsaved families!

    I'm glad Jesus didn't stay only and utterly to Himself!
     
  8. Molly

    Molly
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2000
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    It depends...we see that some teaching can be helpful,but we will not waste time on fluff kind of stuff for our daughters. We like them learning the Word,but as HCL has stated,we understand our duty and responsibilty as parents to teach our children about the Lord. We see the family as a unit made by God,and these so called youth groups can do harm to that unit at times. Plus,we love our children learning from us,that way we know what they are being taught and if it is correct,etc....we don't have to come behind a youth minister a reteach things....but,some are good...if the focus is right.

    Those are just my opinions on the matter.
     
  9. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Molly, I don't think youth groups can ever or should ever replace what parents should be doing.

    1. However most parent's don't.
    2. Kids are often more comfortable with other kids' parents!

    This last one was driven home to me in spades when my own reached teen years. For years I had worked with teen groups and I got along famously with them. Our house was full of teenagers visiting and our Bible studies were fantastic. I was so sure I would have no problems with my own teens -- after all, I had been working with this age group for years!

    WRONGO

    Once my kids were teens I was a mother, not a youth group leader. As a mother I was by definition ignorant, old-fashioned, too nosey....I think most people know the story. Their friends still loved me, but my own kids considered ANYBODY else's parent smarter than me! More understanding, too!

    Youth groups give them those other adults who are at least of the same faith I am! And, as I let go of the control reins a bit, they started to come home and talk about what they had discussed in their groups and get feedback from me and just talk their own way through it with me listening. Now THAT was valuable time! A lot more Bible study got done here at home that way than in the more formal sense that we were used to it. And I got the privilege of watching their minds develop and cope with dealing with how others approached the Bible and their faith.

    The teaching had come from home for over a dozen years. They knew what I believed and why. Youth groups in high school are like 'half-way houses.' The kids can check out new ideas and ways of looking at things without being plunged in with no place to turn for an old familiar ear. Even though I was ignorant, old-fashioned, fussy, nosey, etc., I was that old familiar ear who loved them and I was happy to listen and ask questions and respond. Their anchor secure, they were then ready for another round 'out there.'

    Parental teaching, in other words, can increase with their involvement in youth groups, not decrease. And they are also more open to it when they can discuss things, too.
     
  10. Molly

    Molly
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2000
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not all children have these opinions of their parents. I am around many godly families who do not have rebellious children,who love and respect their parents....I do not see the teenage years as a time of rebellion, nor do I have the perception of that going into those years.

    Some youth programs are okay,it really depends on how a church defines their youth or student ministries and what they are about.

    Most do support separation from parents and actually teach the youth that their parents can not relate,but I(youth director) can. They promote this attitude. I was at a youth function as a teacher once a while back and the speaker asked all parents to leave the room,then when they were all gone,he said,now we can really talk...they are gone.They don't understand what is really going on in your life ,like I do. I thought there was something very wrong with this picture! I was shocked and appalled and since have had different thoughts on this whole church youth thing.
     
  11. Molly

    Molly
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2000
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    God gave the authority to the parents to teach them about the Lord,not the church. Parents allow the church to do what they should be doing,but don't....so it can add to a already present problem. Instead,I think parents should be equipped by their church how to teach and guide their children,biblically through every stage of lfe.
     
  12. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Molly, as a parent I would no way have left that room! What that leader did was horrid. If that is what I knew was going on, I would haul my kid out of there as fast as anything! But then I'm also the mom who refused to leave the doctor's examining room when he or she wanted to talk privately to my teen, too!

    It's not always a rebellion thing. I have had a couple that weren't rebellious and a couple that were and one that wasn't sure and one that is too retarded. But it is always, except for the last one, a time of natural separation from the parents, when one's brain is getting re-wired (physiologically, that really happens!) and one starts trying to think things through for oneself. Generally, what it means when a teen considers mom or dad old-fashioned or ignorant is that the kid has heard their views and now wants to hear others. But since they still have to learn diplomacy, it usually doesn't come out that gently.

    At any rate, the youth groups of just about all the churches in our area have been outstanding. Sadly, the Baptist group is the snobbiest where the kids are concerned, with a real 'us' and 'the rest of you' attitude, which the adults have not really tried to curb. The most active and successful for a long time was the Assemblies of God group, and before that the Calvary Chapel group. Both, in their turn, had several hundred kids involved. I will credit both of those groups with simply dealing with basic Bible instead of one doctrine vs. another. Neither tried to 'steal' anyone away from any other church, but simply help the kids get grounded in Scripture. Up here where we are, there are a LOT of ex-hippies from the old days in Berkeley as well as a lot of yuppies. Add that to the old-timers who are the 'hill folk' and you get an awful lot of non-Christians. The fact that the largest youth groups attracted believing and unbelieving kids by the droves was one of the best things that could have happened in our area.

    We are lacking a solid youth group now and, lo and behold, all of a sudden there is our first 'official' teen gang in the area, so far responsible for two murders, an increase in drug activity, etc. etc.

    If we stay so insulated in our own families, then what good are we to the community? God has put us here for a reason, where we live. And we will do our best to do the best we can for the people around us. My daughter told me the snobby bunch has mostly graduated now from out of that Baptist group, so she wants to try it again. Being the leader she is, if she goes, about twenty other kids will, too. Say a prayer...if you will....
     
  13. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,073
    Likes Received:
    101
    Helen, I know exactly what you're saying.

    Are we so insecure in our roles as parents that we cannot trust another person to help mentor them?
     
  14. Headcoveredlady

    Headcoveredlady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    Molly, Great point, That the church ought to be equipping parents instead of doing it for them.If the children are not comfortable with their own parents I think the Church ought to teach the parents and help them get to the root of them problem. If I found out that my children were more comfortable around other adults then me I would need to find out what I was doing wrong.

    HCL

    [ November 26, 2002, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: Headcoveredlady ]
     
  15. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see so much on the BB people saysing the church is to equip christians, then why do you not believe the church should also equip christian teens? Is the a minnium age or something on who the church can educate(teach the bible), on who can learn to work a ministry? If you can't trust your church(to teach and lead your teens), then your in the wrong church.
     
  16. C.S. Murphy

    C.S. Murphy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    Messages:
    2,302
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can finally agree with brother Adam. This is a no brainer. I have dealt with some poor youth workers in the past and have heard many horror stories but done correctly it can be a great arm of the Church. One question to those who feel that they the parents should do all the teaching of their children. Do you allow them to listen to the Pastor? The importance of having the right youth minister cannot be overstated, in many ways the selection of this person is more important than the pastor. If you have a youth minister in your church you should work with him to help your children as well as others in the church. As to the comments about not wanting your children to be more comfortable with another adult than you let me add this thought. As a pastor I am better equipped at Bible teaching, I am very comfortable with this. Some of our members are more adept at hunting or sports than I so I feel it a natural trade that my son may learn more about basketball from one of my men and their children might learn more about the Bible from me. Before I get jumped I am not saying we should give up or neglect our responsibilities but rather we should use every tool available to teach and train up our children, and a good youth minister is a great tool.
    Murph
     
  17. Sherrie

    Sherrie
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    10,274
    Likes Received:
    0
    I teach my children at home. We study the Bible together, and they are taught what is right and wrong at home. Then we go to church.

    My children are just like me. They need fellowship with other Christians. I think the youth group has always been a blessing for my children. It is an opportunity for them to vent with others their own age and also share. They also had an opportunity as a group to minister to others on mission trips in the USA, as well as overseas.

    When I think the youth pastor or one of the parents aiding says or does something that I question, I go to them and say so.

    My children have never been in a position where the leader said that their parents did not understand them. Matter of fact the Youth leader teaches the teens as well as the kids leader teaches to respect and honor your parents.

    Being apart of the youth allows your children to be with other young Christians and witness to those that are not saved.

    To say that it is good for only unsaved is really wrong. I just wonder what church you do go to.

    Sherrie
     
  18. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Interesting thread.

    See the point of those who are unhappy with the church "hiring" a youth pastor and then the parents abrogating their responsibility.

    Also see the point of those with youth needing fellowship and interaction just as adults do.

    Biggest danger I see is from segregating youth from all ages. The real world doesn't have 30 of their peers making group decisions and establishing morals.

    They have babies, children, teens, adults, senior saints all jumbled up. THAT is my ideal - a youth program not just for youth.

    We call it "church"! :eek:
     
  19. InHim2002

    InHim2002
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    899
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Helen & Adam - youth groups can have a very positive effect.
     
  20. Molly

    Molly
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2000
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree,there is much for our youth to learn from older church memebers,adults,etc...when we segregate them all to themselves,it produces the same kind of peer pressure to conform,as well as learn from other immature youth. Just because someone attends a youth group does not mean they are a christian,so there is such a thing as neg peer pressure at church. I would like to protect my girls from some of that,well from most of that...but,like I said earlier,sometimes it is okay and can be good. It all depends....

    [ November 27, 2002, 07:46 AM: Message edited by: Molly ]
     

Share This Page

Loading...