Youth Ministry: Is it effective and/or biblical?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by 12strings, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. 12strings

    12strings
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    I just want to see what others here have observed. From my own experience, it seems that in 95% of cases, those students who thrive spiritually and continue thriving after high-school are those whose parents raise them in such a way that they would be fine even if our church had no youth ministry. Those student's whose parents are either non-churched, or whose parents attend church, but have little spiritual impact on their kids are the students who do not walk with God, either in high-school or afterwards.

    I personally don't think the bible prohibits youth ministries, but the difference between those who have godly parents and those who don't is simply striking.

    I would say this goes with educational choices as well, it is not the school, but the parent's who have the primary impact on their children's outcome.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. mandym

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    When we look at "effectiveness" as a standard for how we should do ministry we lose sight what real ministry is. The SBC is hurting church planting and out reach in many areas in the country because they are spread out and sparse and cannot produce enough. Associational Missionaries who have retained their jobs in these areas are also required to plant four churches a year. These arbitrary standards are determined by what? The whole utilitarian standard ignores God altogether.
     
  3. 12strings

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    I'm sorry mandy, but can you explain what you are trying to say a little more?
     
  4. mandym

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    Trying to measure the value of a ministry by how much it produces is found where in scripture?
     
  5. 12strings

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    1. "Every good tree bears fruit." I don't believe that attempting evaluate our ministries is unbiblical. If our church had a practice of showing fireworks each sunday morning to draw people to church, and one guy stands up in a business meeting and questions its effectiveness, I don't think that person should be shot down as some sort of hyper-pragmatist for thinking those resources might better be used elsewhere.

    2. My primary point is that this "youth-ministry" model that was invented less than 100 years ago...is it being faithful to God and to the bible, or is it distracting from the primary role in discipling that God has given to parents?
     
  6. mandym

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    Which would be taken out of context if it is to be applied in this idea.

    The problem with this is we are to go out not beg folks to come in.


    Which is a good question to ask apart from any arbitrary number count. Having said that how do you see youth ministry distracting parents from their role? Specifically?
     
  7. Scarlett O.

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    Can a youth ministry detract from the discipling role of a parent? Yes, it can. I've seen parents who just "let the church" handle the bulk of the spiritual conditioning of their children. So a youth ministry CAN be a distraction.

    So can Sunday School, Vacational Bible School, and a whole host of other church ministries.

    I've seen multitudes of adults who allow the pastor's sermons and the Sunday School teachers lessons to be the only source of their Bible reading during the week. They freely admit it.

    Some of the ways that we conduct church isn't exactly Biblical and includes a lot of man-made traditions that people of all ages substitute for their personal pursuit of sanctification.

    For example - since when are churches supposed to be built like theaters? With an "audience" and a stage full of performers, from the instrumentalists to the choir to the pastor. The congregation (audience) becomes so stagnant - honestly believing that their passive non-involvement in the service carries over into a passive non-involvement in their own walk with God during the week.

    The congregation is not the audience. GOD is the audience. The people in the congregation are the performers, if you will. Performing what? Deliberate and purposeful acts of worship that are a natural extension of their previous week and flow into their walk with God into the next week. A life of worship uninterrupted. The people on the "stage" are the worship leaders. Nothing more nothing less. They are there to entertain no one.

    So my answer in a nutshell is that any church ministry can backfire and lead to people shirking personal responsibility and personal spiritual growth.

    It isn't the ministry. It's all in how the church directs its individual members to pursue holiness while NOT at chuch and how the church directs its individual members to take the lead in their own personal accountability before God 24/7.

     
  8. annsni

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    We've seen the good and bad in youth ministry and here are a few thoughts I have:

    * It's a good place to introduce teens to Christ - IF the youth ministry is Christ centered and you have some strong student leaders who have a solid walk with the Lord.

    * It's a fun place to hang out with other friends in a clean environment.

    * It's an easy place for someone to "play" the game but not make any solid commitment to Christ themselves. This is why there are so many who seem to be "Christian" but then "walk away" when they are out of youth group. These are the kids who never had a relationship with the Lord but were able to fit in with the culture by saying the right things and playing along.
     
  9. Sapper Woody

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    The problem with a lot of statements above are simply that it is not Parents or a youth ministry. These two can and should go together.
    This is not the youth ministry being a distraction. This is parents not doing their job as parents.
     
  10. Pastor David

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    We are what is commonly called a "Family-Integrated" church. What that simply means is we do not believe in a distinct "Youth Ministry". I have found there is a rather large difference in the life of the church between youth ministry and ministering to youth. Some believe you aren't reaching youth w/o some kind of relevant youth cultured ministry in your church. This is simply not true. The Word of God, not youth centered programs change hearts and lives for Christ.

    Our emphasis as a Body is to encourage parents to fulfill their God given roles to raise their children as unto the Lord (Deut 6:1-6, Eph. 6:1-3). Christians families are failing because they lack the strength, love and devotion to Jesus Christ that knits their hearts together in both physical and spiritual love for one another. We believe as the church assists parents in cultivating a vibrant spiritual atmosphere in their homes, this in turn strengthens the church, and together, we more fully accomplish God's mission for both!
     
  11. JesusFan

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    Think that it should be used/view as a compliment to good Christian parental involvement, as sometimes we as parents might place burder on youth pastor/staff to " raise up kids in way should walk!"

    Also think though every larger size church needs to see about having such a program runnung!

    Results wise, might be a ways later on in life before we see the actually fruit of the ministry though!
     

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