Youth Ministry

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by TexasSky, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    I had an opportunity to talk to some young people this weekend, and the comment from many college students was that, "Youth Ministry is just glorified baby sitting."

    I objected, and said it was a very needed ministry. (No, I'm not a youth minister.)

    They said they actually gained almost no biblical knowledge from a youth minister or a youth ministry event.

    They spoke of times as children when they participated in many, many events where they learned many things. They view children's ministry as needed.

    I said, "What about the retreats? The bible classes?"

    They shook their heads. "We get more from the senior pastor. Most Youth Ministers today are just teens that like to stand up and talk. They don't have the bible knowledge the pastor has. They can't teach because they haven't learned."

    This shocked me.

    My youth minsiter was a highly educated mature adult who viewed the whole process as a ministry geared toward a specific age group. These kids tell me that it has evolved, in many churches, to a recreation that occasionally mentions the bible.

    Since the group represented Baptist Churches all across the country, I couldn't just write off what they said to, "You're in the wrong church."

    What's going on out there??
     
  2. bapmom

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    Ive noticed a trend that has been discussed in here recently, with the idea that the youth ministry is a "stepping stone" to the Senior Pastor position. Thus I think in many? some? churches the youth minister is a young man fresh out of college who is trying to learn the entire ministry through ministering to teens.

    While I don't know that that would ALWAYS be bad, I think there needs to be more of an emphasis on having men who are committed to BEING a youth pastor, rather than using it as a way to get to a "higher" position. I can remember thinking this as a teenager.....I imagine how neglected the teens must feel when they find out that their youth pastor is only using them to learn how to get into what is considered to be a "better" position in the church.

    We need men, whether older and experienced, or younger and inexperienced, who are willing to commit to the youth as a minister to THEM....making the youth group more than just a social club, but a place where the teens are the ones learning how to minister to others.
     
  3. PastorSBC1303

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    Texas, as a pastor I have witnessed a lot of the same stuff as those youth shared with you.

    I am not going to say that youth ministry is not needed, etc. But I will say I think our churches need to do some hardcore reevaluating of youth ministry and how to most effectively minister to teens.
     
  4. gb93433

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    Many youth groups are nothing more than glorified baby sitting. Some do nothing more than just have fun.

    How many youth groups are taught to share their faith and make disciples? Just a few weeks ago a parent told me that her son does not attend services while he is in Iraq. I told her that I could contact a friend of mine over there who is a chaplain. I also told her he could get involved with the Navigators in the military. She told me that was too much for him because he was only used to having fun in church when he was a kid. Now that the fun is over he is stranded. I don't believe anyone for one moment just wants to have fun only. Give those kids a reason for being there. This past summer my daughter went on a trip and came back and told us how much fun they had working. They helped a missionary as part of their time there. What kid likes work? Most don't but when it has a purpsoe it can be worth it. Anyone who works hard and learn a lot will never regret that experience. But the leaders who allow them to be lazy and get off easy, get a student who is lazy and undisciplined.

    Years ago when I taught high schooll I decided to take a number of students on a two day trip. Many warned me against it. I wrote out a set of rules and what I expected on the trip. Both the parents and student signed it. In that note I mentioedn that if any student was caught with something illegal they would be brought to the nearest police station and it would then be the responsibility of the student and parent to get home.

    I never had one problem. We saw some great places and went to visit one of the top woodworkers in the world. He has some of his work in the Smithsonian. At the places we visited, the people who showed us around commented on how well behaved the students were. If we expect the best from them they will give their best. We get nothing when we expect nothing.

    It is a pleasure to deal with students who have been trained. They have respect for authority and will discipline themselves. They appreciate their teachers.
     
  5. Brother Ian

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    The quality of the Youth Group often depends largely on the Youth Minister. My son often complains he doesn't get anything out of youth services, but that's because he's involved with other Bible/ministry related activities.

    No matter what our youth minister plans or arranges, the youth group at my church won't get involved in any activity that provides outreach to other teens or inreach to the congregation. They are currently planning a winter retreat so they can go skiing. Its all for them and its all about fun. Our Youth Minister called them, "Lazy and apathetic." I think that pretty much sums up a good portion of Christianity in America.
     
  6. tinytim

    tinytim
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    I am just the opposite. I used to be a senior pastor and am now a youth pastor. I see the need for Godly men to step up a notch in youth ministry. It is not about all fun and games, although there are a lot out there that think it is. I agree with you 100%.
     
  7. jshurley04

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    Youth ministry fun and teaching is just like drinking alcohol and eating food. It is to be done in moderation. Too much fun is like going out and getting drunk, it seems fun at the moment but has long term problems associated with it. Same thing with nothing but ministry or feeding the youth the doctrines of scripture. Too much and they become fat and lazy like those who are overweight by a gross amount.

    Youth ministry must strike a balance to be fun enought to keep the kids attention and open the door for teaching. Teaching must be done from where they are and where they need to be. However, it cannot be the only thing they do. They need to put that teaching to work and have fun doing so.
     
  8. APuritanMindset

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    The reason most youth ministers are so focused on fun things is because you don't have a big youth group or a megachurch if you teach what the Bible actually says. Most churches these days are no different than the youth ministries described by those students, only the activities are for "big people" rather than kids. People don't want to learn, they want to be entertained.

    As a youth minister, I can say that it is hard teaching the kids from the Bible. But I can also say that it is hard when the pastor won't say anything from the pulpit to chellenge intellectually the people either. If the youth minister isn't built up and challenged, then he will fall into the same pattern that his senior pastor is exemplifying to him.

    The lack of care by youth ministers for the students, though, also comes from a wrong view of the church, but don't get me started on that.
     
  9. Rachel

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    What a shame. :(
    Youth ministry is such an important part of the church I believe. It's a critical point in life. Don't the stats show that most people in life get saved by age 18? That right there should make people realize how important the youth departments are.
    The youth should have good teaching Pastors.
     
  10. TexasSky

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    I've been thinking about this a long time. I think some of this has come about because of "fear" to teach the difficult stuff.

    The kids grew up in church, so surface level bible stories aren't enough. Teaching the in depth stuff is more than a lot of sunday school teachers can do though. So they "entertain" and hope to keep them around long enough for someone else to teach them the in depth stuff.
     
  11. tinytim

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    I have also seen a trend where youth ministers are more interested in para-church than church.
     
  12. John of Japan

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    Good for you, tinytim. What is needed is men who see the youth ministry as their calling, their leading of God, not a stepping stone. My experience in a youth group was over 35 years ago, but much of it was as has been described--simply a fun time without much meat. However, the youth leader, a godly and kind and sincere layman, had a good impact on my not by what he taught but by what he modeled.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Salty

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    Many years ago as a teen our church AWANA (charter #177) had the Shipmates program. (boy, am I tellming my age). I really enjoyed the Bible Study. After three years, the church leadership realized most of the teens had no interest in the Bible Study program. So they cancelled Shipmates, and just had a Friday night social. I went once. Thats all it was, a social, no Bible study at all.
    Go Figure

    Salty
     
  14. patrick

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    Guys and Gals,

    I can speak only for myself. I am in youth ministry. Most of the problems are not the youth ministers fault. Today most adults come to church to be entertained. The teens see that and they want the same thing.

    I have lost youth by opening the Bible and teaching the Word. We also have fun but most youth ministers are trying to teach the Word of God.

    For those who say most youth ministers are young and trying to move up. I am 36 and have been in youth ministry for several years. I have had over a dozen offer to pastor. God has called me to work with youth and not pastor.
     

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