What happened to our youth?
Years ago, there were some in our church who thought that we were neglecting our youth because we stopped focusing on programs and activities and started working to incorporate the youth into the larger body of the church. This article details the problem many churches are having with keeping young people in the body. Our church started a Faithcare membership plan in an effort to combat this problem more than 4 years ago. We work hard at Cedar Grove to incorporate young people more and more into the general workings of the whole body of Christ. This article affirms everything we have been doing and shows that we were attacking a problem before many of the experts were onto its reality. God is so gracious to His people. This article offers a pretty good look at a real problem in our churches. (I say pretty good because I don’t think the over-protective parent analysis is anywhere near the mark.) Still, you will find this article informative and interesting and timely.
As for what I think is a biblical approach to youth ministry, I believe that is found in 1 Corinthians 12; they are members of a body. They ought to be serving in the local body of believers, connected to folks of all ages, not treated as though the church exists for them, but, rather, treated as though they belong to the church and can be faithful and effective servants for the church and the gospel ministry. Youth ought to be serving the elderly. They ought to be witnessing and defending the faith–getting a great deal of experience in apologetics before they go to college, where their faith is often tested. Youth are not the oldest kids to need a babysitter, they are the youngest members of the body of Christ. I am glad many experts are talking about this topic. Hopefully, we will see many more churches change their approach to youth ministry.