Do I dare call them tenets of the faith? Considering their faith is founded on their own works, I think I dare not. This is my first post in a series on what Rick Boyer spoke on at the conference. I have really felt like I need to address these things one by one.
Falsehood: Youth Groups Are Bad
Our youth ministry is large. We have 120-150 students, grades 6-12, each Wednesday evening. Of these, less than half are regular Sunday church attenders. I estimate 2/3 are not followers of Christ, or at least they don’t walk what they claim to follow. And the majority of these unchurched kids also have unsaved parents who do not attend church. This mission field is wide open.
The patriocentric men will say “You should never expose your children to others who don’t follow Christ!” But Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations” Mark 28:19. We do not disciple those who are following Christ closely; we disciple those who are far from him. The unbelievers. It would be an unfruitful church indeed, who overlooks this truth. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17.
To isolate students completely from the entire world is unhealthy! That isn’t to say we cannot INsolate them, but what that entails is giving them the tools to reach others while ALSO giving them the foundation and protection to work from. As Pastor Jack Brooks stated in a comment here “We should re-study what the Bible teaches about the “separated” lifestyle, so that we know what it means to stay unspotted by the world, versus being afraid [of motocross jerseys and a little lip gloss.]” Without our youth group, I know of many kids by name who would have never darkened the door of any church, never mind ours. And they are on fire for God!
Youth groups serve a valuable purpose: To teach students about Christ, disciple them, and show them how to live for Christ through preaching, teaching, and living out their faith. There is no perfect youth group… but if you are a parent whose speciality is “Shred the youth pastor”, maybe you should try showing a little grace and get your hands a little dirty. Teenagers aren’t scary. Most of them feel under-appreciated, especially when the world is telling them that their purpose in life is to act as immature and stupid as possible, while seeking a rockstar lifestyle. What they really want is to be noticed for who they are, as well as what they can contribute.
You cannot hide your kids away from the world. They must learn to function IN it, but that doesn’t mean they are OF it. And reaching others for Christ not only teaches them leadership, but it also gives them PURPOSE, to serve God and glorify Him. The only father we are to glorify is our Heavenly Father.