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Loosing Battle

Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by Shortandy, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Sopranette

    Sopranette New Member

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    I think people at that age, say between sixteen and twenty one, are still figuring out who they are and what they believe. So that might account for the numbers appearing to drop off. They also tend to move away from home, and their home church, as they struggle to find their own identity.

    love,

    Sopranette
     
  2. Shortandy

    Shortandy New Member

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    That is a good statement no doubt. But why do some of these kids not know who they are? Is it just an age thing? I don't think so. Someone on this thread made a very good point about how many youth ministries focus more on pizza and fun than the Word of God. But think about this. Many parents, who have way more influence on their kids, never read the word or worship at home they let the youth pastor do that and the youth pastor might see their kids a few hours in a week. Our kids spend more time surrounded by the world than the word and its the parents fault. Again I can't help but think our current model is a big problem. Will it be easy to change? No it wont. We are trying to change things at my church but we have been had the current youth ministry model for 30 years or so. It will take some time I am sure.

    I would also like to point out to you that young people are capable of more than we think. In biblical times they were ruling nations and even getting married in the teenage years. Being young is not reason for stupid, unbiblical behavior. We must expect more of them. We should expect them to know who they are in Christ before college.
     
  3. Sopranette

    Sopranette New Member

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    Well, then, that would be a good reason to say it is NOT a losing battle, but we should keep reminding them as best we can during this struggle of Christ's sacrifice for them.

    love,

    Sopranette
     
  4. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher Active Member
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    Tithing is for Believers.
    Teaching Sunday School is for Believers.
    Discipling is for Believers.

    Lost parents are not Believers. I don't expect them to tithe, teach or disciple. That's the responsibility of Believers.

    Got to tell you, my friend. It sounds like you view this as a hopeless situation. Even the title of the thread, "Loosing Battle" indicates that there's no hope. The God I serve is the Almighty, all powerful God. This is not hopeless. It might be best for you to take you eyes off the 40 to 1 ratio and focus them on the all sufficient Father.

    Where's your faith? Where's your hope? If it is in the 16 million Southern Baptists (which I are one) you will be constantly disappointed. But, we'll never be disappointed in the Father.
     
  5. Shortandy

    Shortandy New Member

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    Not a loss of hope in God my friend a lack of hope in the current way youth ministry is being done. It doesn't work. Why is it you don't address this? We are loosing too many. Yes tithing and all that is for believers but our churches are not expecting the believing parents to disciple either. Most think the youth pastor is doing an adaquate job...but again we are loosing over 70%. That is the stat I am most concerned with. The 40 to 1 just shows that until people start evangelizing our numbes will continue to drop thats all.

    My hope is in God but as a believer I wish to point out the failure of the modern-day church so we can correct what we are doing wrong. You don't have to like it. I don't think we are being good stewards when we hide behind spirital comments and refuse to look at the methods we are using in our churches. Sounds harsh I know but my intensions is to get you to think a little. I know that no one, myself included, likes to be told that what they are doing is wrong.. But myfriend the numbers don't lie.
     
    #25 Shortandy, Jun 26, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2008
  6. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher Active Member
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    I agree that there is a problem. I believe that the problem is first off in the homes and second in the church. We can't force parents to raise their children to be Godly young people. We can encourage (and we do), and we can offer to help (and we do) but we can't force. We can't make parents, even Christian parents, do right in raising their children. That's where the church has to step in.

    We have to do all we can to reach the children with the Gospel, to try to introduce them to Christ.
    We have to do all we can to help them grow in their faith (and the ministry of fun and games won't help!).
    We have to do all we can to encourage their parents in their own faith - that they become Spiritually mature.

    Yes, I recognize the problem. But I'm more interested in solutions than just continuing to point out the problem. I'd rather look ahead, believing that God will accomplish His plan, rather than only look behind.

    I encourage our church to do all we can for the cause of Christ. I encourage them every week to tell someone what Jesus has done for them. But I leave the results in the had of God. He WILL accomplish His plan.


    One more thing about those who drop off the radar when they leave the youth group. I've been around long enough to see many of them show back up on the radar later on.

    Don't give up!
     
  7. Shortandy

    Shortandy New Member

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    My point in starting this thread is to #1 point out the problem so I am glad you agree there is one becaue don't agree. #2 to point out that our current approach in youth ministry needs to be changed. Do I have the exact or best answer? No and I don't pretend to but we need to get Baptist discussing a new solution. If the way did it changed our parents would. Everything in our Baptist churches is aged graded. We divide the families up when they get there when the bible shows us that the family is the central is discipleship of kids. How do we do that? I have some thoughts that will share later I am sure.

    I wont give up bro...there are too many lives at stake.
     
  8. annsni

    annsni Well-Known Member
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    What about if the entire youth staff is either young college students (a few of ours are - so they're just the next step from the youth) or parents (both mother and father) of some of the students in the youth group. The youth pastor and his wife are also working together so these kids get to see families work each week. When the youth pastor's wife had their first child, she asked my opinion on her going to the winter retreat with the youth group and I told her to go. What a great way to further show these kids what a healthy marriage and family look like. I don't believe a child under one should be forced to separate from their parent so she would take her infant with her. She came home and was grateful that she went and took the baby because it WAS a time of great teaching for the kids.

    I know that it seems that what we're doing is not working and I do think that we need to evaluate what works and what doesn't but we also need to realize that we're not seeing the final results in just the first couple years of college. I know a few of the teens who went through youth group, then went to college and seemed to "leave" the Lord but add on a few years and we see them coming back to their first love. So just finding out that a huge percentage of students leave their faith in the first years of college doesn't show the whole picture. We need to look at these students at 30 years old, IMO. I think that will be more telling.
     
  9. Shortandy

    Shortandy New Member

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    Again I think you make some valid points. And you are right we don't see a lot of people in their 20's in our church but some, but certainly not many come back in their 30's. But the essence of what you are saying might shock you. You are saying this: In our current approach to student ministry we are seeing a huge fall-away rate after their freshman year of college (70 to 80%). But thats okay because a percentage of those come back later.

    Here is the problem with that thought....sounds harsh but I know you are the type of person who will think about this because of your love for students. That mentality is saying the ends justify the means. But what about those kids that are making some horrible life choices in between those years? And can I just throw this at you? These 30 somethings that are coming back; some are finding they were never actually saved, and the church leadership is seeing they have no idea what it means to be a disciple of Christ...this is yet another stone to be thrown at the current style of student ministry.
     
  10. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher Active Member
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    That's not what she's saying. You might want to read her posts again without already coming to a conclusion about what you think she's saying. No one is saying that the fact that so many young people drop out of church after high school is OK. But also, no one is saying that we have to make the lost parents of our young people disciple their own kids.
     
  11. Shortandy

    Shortandy New Member

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    You need to apply to practive what your preaching sir if i can't come to a conclusion about what she is saying then neither can you. You also need to apply your words to my post my friend..I have stated more than once that I understand that we can't expect or make unsaved parents act like they are saved and disciple their children....but most churches are not even pushing the issue with the saved parents. The thought here is that the way we are doing things doesn't work and it needs to change...to exactly what I am not sure. AGain if a hospital was loosing over 70% of its patiences I imagine they would re-evaluate their methods...dont you?
     
  12. pk07

    pk07 New Member

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    Alright, you've spent a lot of time telling us that we're doing something wrong. But you haven't bothered to offer a solution. Mind filling us in on what you think we ought to be doing?
     
  13. rbell

    rbell Active Member

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    The last seven years in my church...we're "loosing" (it's "losing," BTW) about 30%. That's way more than I'm happy with, but it's about half what Barna claims is happening.

    Intensive discipleship, active in missions/ministry, and we do our darndest to reach the parents for Christ.
     
  14. David Lamb

    David Lamb Active Member

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    I agree that churches should never be complacent about the way they do things. They should always re-evaluate to make sure that what they do is biblical. However, I don't agree with your analogy of patients dying in hospital.

    If a person is not a Christian yet, then they are still "dead in trespasses and sins". Attending church services will not in itself give them new life. I may have misunderstood, but you seem to take it for granted that if a non-Christian young person doesn't attend services, the church will have no contact with him/her.

    If a person who is a Christian stops attending church services, that is a different matter. Surely the church leaders will, with loving concern, want investigate if any Christian, young or old, suddenly stops coming to services. If the reason given is something like, "I don't like the way you do things," then it seems to me that something would need to be said about what church membership actually means. The bible talks of it as being part of a body. Also, might not at least some of your 70% have stopped attending services for good reason? Don't young people in America often move away from their home town to attend a college or university elsewhere, for example? And just because a Christian stops attending a particular church, they may be mistaken to do so, but they are not "lost".
     
  15. rbell

    rbell Active Member

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    by the way, let us keep in mind that even Christ Himself didn't "keep" 100%.

    There will always be those that fall away.

    That doesn't excuse our best efforts to keep them...but we will not keep them all.
     
  16. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher Active Member
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    Praise God for 70%!

    There is no perfect way to do youth ministry. In spite of any church's bests efforts, some will still reject Christ. Some parents will still reject Christ. We don't stop trying! We keep pressing on! But we know that we'll never be 100% effective.
     
  17. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher Active Member
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    OK. What's the right answer?
    What are you and your church doing right that we'll all doing wrong?
    Give us the steps to measure up to your idea of success.

    You've been real good about pointing out the problem - how 'bout some solutions.

    BTW, I'm not real concerned with "most churches" right now. I'm concerned mainly with my church right now.
     
  18. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman Active Member

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    I was active in my so called youth ministry when I was growing up and had become a leader in it. When I moved to college, I had to make an active choice in college, but I had enough behind me, enough training, enough.... uh....I want to say a word here but it probably would offend some... I had enough internal ability to make the decision to remain in church in college and be active.

    I don't really believe some youth have this capability, for what ever reason, and I don't necessarily fault the church. Jesus calls us individually to remain in him, whether youth groups fully teach that or not.
     
  19. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher Active Member
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    When I went to college, I moved 1200 miles away from home. One of the things that helped me stay in church during college what the the church folks met the college students at the dorms and helped us move in. They said they'd feed us that night - even offered to come and get us.

    I might have been one of those statistics if it wasn't for those folks.
     
  20. FriendofSpurgeon

    FriendofSpurgeon Well-Known Member
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    That's so true for a lot of us.

    We have 30+ kids that just graduated from high school and almost all of them wil be attending college somewhere else. So we won't be seeing them very often in future -- only during the holidays.

    However, one of our youth volunteers has done some great research on each of the universities. She is contacting each student and letting them know the Christian ministries that they have at that school & trying to get them connected into a ministry from day one.
     
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