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Youth

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Reynolds, Apr 18, 2024.

  1. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    I recently, very recently, took over youth (middle and high school) at our church. There are about 40 kids in youth group. Most were reared in church. What I discovered is they know nothing. Recently started a Romans study. Have not been able to start chapter 1 for two weeks because can't get out of intro. Out of 40 kids not one had a clue what the Protestant Reformation was, what a Gentile was, or what a Pharisee was. Did not know what The Catholic Church was. Out of 40 kids, could not get a single example of a protestant denomination. One kid finally said Jehovah's Witnesses. I guess they are technically protestant, but more correctly a cult.

    Is this typical for youth today, or do I just have a very challenging group? I have not been in youth ministry for the last almost 20 years, but back then they knew most this stuff.
     
    #1 Reynolds, Apr 18, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2024
  2. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Our youth is a bit different. I think it is because the chur h as a whole invests in these kids.

    It is one thing that drew us to the church.

    The youth have mentors who meet with them weekly. They get together on Wed. & Thursday nights. And they are mentored to be active members.

    The key, I think, is that this continues after high school. My son, for example, is now in college. When he was in high school tge youth padtor would have him speak or help in service at the school (Baptust school at the church...he attended public school but the pastor would get him to speak a couple of times during the year). He mentors and helps middle school kids on Wed. night. But they also meet weekly with the college group on campus.


    Where churches fail, I believe, is when they abandon the youth and lump them in with the adults.....or have a good youth program but no way to integrate them into adult life upon graduation.
     
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  3. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    It's typical for the youth of a hyper-evangelical church that emphasizes only the gospel as a tool to populate heaven with. It's for making sheep, not feeding sheep. I grew up in such a church. They kept a permanent banner of Jn 3:16 across the top of the pulpit, 45-minute invitations were not unusual, singing 'Just As I Am' and 'Jesus Is Calling' over and over and over....what a shocker it was to me when I learned (not there at that church) that Jesus and Jehovah are the same! They didn't even bother to plainly teach the deity of Christ to their youth.

    Absolutely yes, it's typical. THIS is the gospel:

    27 And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
    32 And they said one to another, Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures? Lu 24

    ...it's not some three-line formula for immortality. It's SHEEP FOOD.
     
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  4. Mikey

    Mikey Active Member

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    Probably not untypical. Church History is often completely unkown now unless you have a interest in history. Even adults in their 30s 40s don't know who Martin Luther or John Calvin were, what the Reformation was, what the Reformation was about, etc. Think nowadays people don't think history is important and don't see the relevance to their lives.

    Gentile & Pharisee's aren't normal terms, so unless their parents teach them (many parents have little knowledge of the bible/theology, rarely reading past their particular favourite verses and reading "fluff" books, and don't spend time teaching their children but out source it to the church/christian youth groups) and depeending on the church, the lack of theology in some churches is shocking
     
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  5. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    All I can say is Seminaries are in trouble... I have two grandsons that were not only reared in the church but go to church school and are in high school... My grandsons can answer all those questions because it doesn't mater how you are reared at church, how are you reared at home?... Brother Glen:)

    Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
     
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  6. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    45-minute invitations :confused:
     
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  7. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I think there should be a balance.

    I enjoy Christisn history. But while we can benefit from Christian history, it is not really necessary insofar as Biblical teaching and the gospel is concerned (it isn't Scripture).

    The problem comes in when Christoans look to Luther, Calvin, Owen, Wesley, Moody, Knox, etc. as teachers or authorities of their faith.

    We have their writings, but not the men. They are not teachers (we don't have them, they can't interact with theological development). They were teachers.

    And their writings can benefit us, but they can also be abused and misused. God equips His churches with pastors and teachers. And we have His Word which is alive rather than mere reference.
     
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  8. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    In all actuality there is too much entertainment in the world... Ours is an instant generation... Just look at the benefits we have now... In it there is good and bad... I just purchased a book on the history of hymns and the sentiment and the words of worship to those hymns of the past outstrip those of our generation... Has worship turned more into an entertainment venue, than worship?... Then what do you expect from the youth?... How do they grown in grace and knowledge?... Technology is good if used for a good purpose but there is flip side too... Not to say those of the past, didn't have problems too... Like the Lord said in this world ye shall have tribulations and we all have had our share... The youth are to blame but also the mentors, if they're not taught, they're going to be caught, if we sit on the seat of do nothing... Brother Glen:)
     
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  9. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    I was not teaching Christian History by any means. It was introduction to Romans including terms important to the study of Romans and a mention that the Protestant church was formed because Martin Luther and others studying Romans.
    That led to 1 million questions.
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    Boy do I agree with that! Church takes you only so far… it’s how the parents teach, how they emulate, how they prepare their children. I wasn’t even raised in a Protestant home but a RC home with a single mother who taught reverence for God, respect for people, honor etc. these teachings came from my mother who I completely trusted and loved, not some preacher and church personnel who I could give a flip about.
     
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  11. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    ...well, interspersed with more preaching and pleading, the especially long invitations arose when they targeted someone in attendance thought to be contemplating 'accepting Christ'.
     
  12. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    I attended church once in a while as a kid. I don't remember hearing the gospel (although I chalk that up to being blinded by my sinful nature).

    After becoming a Christian as a high school teen (in the early 1970's) I read everything I could about my faith, I had a lot of questions.

    Upon entering college we had to take a year of Introductory classes on the Bible--I tested out of the classes and advanced into the more interesting classes.

    Most of those raised as a Christian from birth had to take the classes---including my future wife.

    Sunday School education is typically set up to minimize any disruption caused by kids asking hard questions.
    Classes typically stay away from difficult topics and if they do, they only teach one side of the story.

    I'd guess the reasoning for keeping things simple is:
    1. Thinking is work and kids don't like work.
    2. Keep things light and easy so you won't scare them away.
    We protect them so much that some kids loose their faith in Bible College because they begin to be confronted by real-world situations.

    Rob
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    LOL… thinking is work and kids don’t like work. Wow that’s funny!
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    What did they do if they rejected Christ… run them out on a rail?
     
  15. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    "We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
     
  16. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    That's quite typical. The American church, generally speaking, has failed the last few generations of children/teens. Much of "youth ministry" has become fun and games with empty emotionalism thrown in for good measure. While fun and games are important, they do not feed the mind, soul, or spirit. When I came to faith in 1979, I did so because I literally heard the gospel for the first time in an understandable way. I had been trying to figure out the message of the gospel for several years, but the Sunday School leaders at my Baptist church were more interested in manipulating me down the aisle at the end of the service so I could get baptized instead of actually explaining why one would want to respond to Jesus or be baptized (other than the fear of hellfire). Why would God want to torture me eternally, and why would shaking the pastor's hand and publicly getting wet prevent that? No one seemed to be interested in telling me why except to tell me how horrible of a person I was for asking such questions.

    I certainly hope the situation in your church is not that bad, but don't assume they know much of anything. There will be at least a few there who have extremely basic questions.

    I suggest dealing with definitions and church history only as needed. Deal with the biblical background and define terms like Jew and Gentile as they come up. Let the scriptures speak without bringing in the historical controversies immediately.

    It's typical. I was stunned when I was teaching youth about 18 years ago when I realized that many of the teens didn't know what resurrection was... They envisioned a "zombie" Jesus. And they REALLY didn't know (like many adults) that there will be a resurrection at the end of the age where we will all be in our transformed physical bodies again.

    Instead of reacting strongly to their ignorance, I asked a lot of questions and discovered that the chorus of the worship song, "Lord I Life Your Name on High," was where they got their basic gospel knowledge:

    He came from Heaven to earth to show the way
    You came from heaven to earth to show the way
    From the earth to the cross, my debt to pay
    From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky
    Lord I lift Your name on high

    Some theologically-inept worship leader told them at camp or somewhere that the chorus was the essential gospel message. Of course, the chorus leaves out the resurrection of Jesus!

    So I had to shut down the rest of the lesson and spend a good 45-minutes teaching about resurrection -- the resurrection of Jesus and our future resurrection.

    You should be massively encouraged by the questions. Questions mean that they are engaged. It's going to take a lot of time, so don't get too concerned about how quickly you can get through Romans.

    Exactly. I got in trouble a lot in Sunday School for asking obvious questions the teacher was trying to avoid. I finally learned to keep my mouth shut and assumed that the Bible was essentially irrelevant since the teachers of the Bible couldn't even answer basic questions.

    Yes, and that approach has the opposite effect. It tells students that the church has no knowledge or insight into the realities they face everyday.
    Bible College is a hot house for faith compared to the real world (the work force, the military, vocational school, or a regular college campus).

    Actually, pretty much that. It is usually not very public, but those who do not accept the way Christ has been presented (if presented at all) are pushed out so they won't "infect" others. As a teenager, my brother was forced out of my home church even though he had previously walked the aisle and been baptized. He had a lot of questions as to how science and the teachings of the church connected, and he was bombarded with criticism from adults who also turned other teens against him. He received letters, some of them anonymous, threatening him with eternal torment. After a couple of months of that, he resigned from the church and could not believe in a god who treated people that way.
     
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  17. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    It eventually will come to that. They will usually reach a point that they become a negative influence on the other kids.
    The youth group I was raised in did have to at times stop people from coming.
     
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