Monday, April 23, 2012

Is youth ministry the problem?

imageI realize youth ministry is a relatively new concept. I survived the transition for traditional Sunday school to one manage by a youth minister back in the early 70s. It turned church into a fun experience (or as fun as it could be). Instead of watching a seriously boring sermon, I was free to interact with other kids under the guidance of a hip and trendy youth pastor. It seemed like a good thing at the time, but when I think back on it, I am amazed that I sat for the mind controlish pap peddled by those in charge. I call it my Ben Born Again experience. In retrospect, it was unhealthy. At least I still have my hair.

In a recent article at The Christian Post called Modern Youth Ministry a ‘50-Year Failed Experiment’ Say Pastors, we hear pastors busy rethinking the whole youth ministry concept. They try to link a wholesale exodus from Christianity to youth ministry. Of course, we know it is that reason is winning the battle for the hearts and minds of our youth. My theory is that today’s youth can feel that the message is inauthentic. Once you realize you’ve been mislead, the game is over. Your mind starts looking for the truth, and you find it in science, or secularism. Goodbye superstition…

To these pastors the concept is unbiblical. Worse, they think what they did was divisive (no kidding). 

"I look back and realize I did more harm to families than I ever imagined," Dellinger says in the film. "I see that more as I look back because I was usurping the authority of parents, especially fathers by having their children's hearts turn towards me – with their permission."

"Today, I can make more of a difference in the lives of young people through the biblical standards of fathers turning their hearts towards their children," he adds.

Good luck with turning back the clock… It never works.

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