Modern Youth Ministry 'Unbiblical,' Ministry Leader Claims
Scott T. Brown, director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches, addresses Christian leaders and families at the Sufficiency of Scripture conference at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, Dec. 10-12, 2009
This article refers to one of our broadcasters, Scott T. Brown of Hope Baptist Church in North Carolina. He is one of the leaders advocating a return to "family-integrated" churches. Excerpt below...
Scott T. Brown, an advocate of church reformation and the strengthening of families, claims that modern youth ministry is "indisputably unbiblical."
Addressing Christian leaders and families at a conference on the Sufficiency of Scripture on Friday, Brown, director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches, asserted that the "philosophy and practice of comprehensive, age-segregated, programmatic youth ministry" is "contrary to the ministry patterns of Christ."
Surely the Church is called to unity, not division. The youth claim to be dissatisfied with the style of worship and would like to do their own thing. The problem is that many of our young people dont know when youth ends and adulthood begins. Therefore if a division is created then it tends to be permenant. We all want to be in a group of people we feel comfortable with, the trouble is that relationships in the Church become limited and favouritism occurs.This should not be in the Christian Church. Division in the Church is denounced all through Scripture.
I'm not saying that youth group is wrong inherently. there may be a place for it. then again maybe not.
In the bible (Numbers 20:10-12) God told Moses to speak to the rock and water would come out of it. But moses struck the rock with his staff and spoke to it. because he did not do what the Lord said he was not able to enter the holy land. He did not believe Gods word was sufficient
Also think of the the early church. Because of the gnostic and Docetist heresies that were rising up, the christians thought they needed overseers (popes or senior pastors of today) to refute the heresy and protect the people. they did not believe that God's word was sufficient to defend and protect.
also people in the bible were killed (yes by God) for offering something other than what he commanded.
Isn't the issue that we're really dealing w/ here the issue of making disciples of Christ??? That responsibility belongs to the parents and the foundation of that training is a marriage. We must consider the importance of what we are doing when we ignore the unity of the family week after week in the church.
Our philosophy becomes that we'll train your youth or your 5 year old and you won't have too. It's not what we say, but it's what we do. It's our actions that are teaching these parents that they have no responsibility to train their children in the ways of the LORD.
Terry, I won't entirely disagree with you, I'm not a Quaker who thinks even men and women should be separated from each other, though probably in the synagogue of the Old Testament they were. [URL=http://www.jewfaq.org/women.htm]]]Judaism 101 - The Role of Women[/URL]. Some issues on worship, the Old Testament isn't a good reference.
IHCC Elders wrote: The primary purpose of the Church shall be to bring glory to God by worshiping Him and ministering to the spiritual needs of man. This purpose finds expression through evangelization of the lost and the edification of believers through Bible study, prayer, worship, fellowship and service.
from the IHCC Constitution
[URL=http://www.ihcc.org/article_print.php?art_id=Zv7awnJDyLgSEOEmxSsb96E29]]]What to Look for in a Church[/URL]
Much has been said on the subject. Youth ministries, if left unchecked, can easily swing to the extremes, and bent towards feelings rather than faith. The youth of our day needs to be exposed to true biblical worship with awe and reverence. Too often, carnal contemporary music is introduced with christian lyrics which unbelivers no doubt mistake for worldly music.
Deuteronomy 6 reminds us of our heaven appointed-duties as Christian parents to teach our children at every opputunity. Likewise, in our Churches today Youth ministries should not be left on their own but to be integrated into the main.
Of course, you have to have age segregated groups, is all preaching to be at a five year old (or for that matter infant level?)
1 Corinthians 13 11 When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.---[URL=http://www.lockman.org/nasb/nasbcmp.php]]]NASB[/URL]
It's Unbiblical not to have some age divisions.
Isaiah 64 6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our [h] righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.---[URL=http://www.lockman.org/nasb/nasbcmp.php]]]NASB[/URL] Geneva Bible Notes [h] We are justly punished and brought into captivity, because we have provoked you to anger, and though we would excuse ourselves, yet our righteousness, and best virtues are before you as vile cloths, or (as some read) like the menstrual cloths of a woman.
Hey, you guys are right, it's about time kids should learn everything, ready or not!
Mike wrote: Neither is the internet seen anywhere in Scripture, yet you use it. Are you smarter than God?
Mike... horrible logic my friend. The POINT is simply that explicit/implicit biblical teaching/principles do not exist that would support the practice of modern youth ministry. In fact, the lack of biblical support (explicit or implicit) combined with the very real evidence of damage comming out of the practice would lead one, who is trying to discern the matter, to conclude that the hoped-for outcome does not exist. It's not enough to point at the relatively rare successes of the practice as we know that God works good out of our stupidity all the time. Let's all read Tim Challies excellent book, "The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment" and learn/re-learn what it looks like to make biblical decisions. I believe the primary thrust of modern youth ministry is largely rooted in a wrong-headed fear that our youth are going to run after the culture anyway, so let's try to christianize what it is they are drawn to in hopes that we can stave off the exodus. What we end up with is a paganized gospel life which is ultimately no gospel at all and results too often in the complete abandonedment of the faith; a faith that showed itself wanting.
"because the spirit and atmosphere was more free, more open, more real." More rock and roll, party, tattoo, body piercing arts, non-condemning spirit and etc. Satan, the Flesh, and The World offer these much more freedom. The only attraction that I have is Christ Jesus The Lord.
YounGman wrote: youth group ...companion of fools ...
excellent point: As the early church COULD have segregated by age, (as opposed to the redherring "apples vs oranges" of an early church being UNable to communicate via radio, internet or whatnot) but the early church did NOT segregate by age, even though they could have easily done so.. in fact many church leaders have written of the strength of the young being mixed in with the mature, to give them access to elderly wisdom.
"Youth group is not seen anywhere in scripture" , well, there is the 'youth group' of
2 Kings 2:23-24 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
not a good outcome for THAT youth group!
There are ways to do youth training properly, but it sure isn't a biblical mandate to segregate by age. [URL=http://gracecommunitybible.net/articles/mar04pp.htm]]]You COULD do it like this-but most don't[/URL]
Younman wrote: I was in a youth group a few years ago and can attest to its harmfulness. He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20 I can say that all teenagers are fools. Fact, Youth group is not seen anywhere in scripture. --- Or are things deferent now. are you smarter than God?
Neither is the internet seen anywhere in Scripture, yet you use it. Are you smarter than God?
Hello, I would like to recommend a broadcast on Sermon Audio yesterday from the Knowing the Truth Radio Program at http://www.sermonaudio.com/source_detail.asp?sourceid=knowingthetruth. Broadcaster Pastor Kevin Boling was interviewing Voddie Bauchamon on his new book Family Driven Faith but mentioned the topic Youth Ministries that we are having here and I think it would be good to listen to, the link is here http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sermonID=1222091431517
Our modern, age segregation concepts feed into all stages of life. We went to a church where a newborn nursing baby and the parents were literally physically blocked from entering the sanctuary by church staff and escorted away! The sanctuary had a mother's room with dark glass where mothers had always taken their babies if they made any noise and families always stayed in the back to not create any diversion. Unfortunately the church closed this room down. Then they created this new "family room" that must have cost $10,000 and was on the other side of the campus from the sanctuary. The family was sent there, to sit in an empty room with a tv screen, and then the mother was instructed that if the child needed to be fed, she was to leave her husband behind in the family room to worship alone in front of the tv, and go to another empty room that would now be the mother's room with another tv. In another country a young mother with a nursing child would be welcomed, but here they were segregated. We have been to many kinder churches, but trying to point out a cultural distinction.
Alexander wrote: I like to give this as an example. On the first day of the week, after our Lord¬īs death, who went together to the tumb? not two men of very diffent ages, on (Peter) a mature married guy and John a young fellow. Isn¬īt interesting that there was not generational gap. They were united not for wordly common interests but for their love for Christ and this is what we should work for today also.
Alexander Good post. Have you listened to Duncan Campbell and Mary Peckhams' testimonies of Revival on the Isle of Lewis...seems God had people across a wide spectrum of ages in on what He did there.
Oh! By the Way not a single mention of anything remotely like our modern day blowout youth events either.
I like to give this as an example. On the first day of the week, after our Lord¬īs death, who went together to the tumb? not two men of very diffent ages, on (Peter) a mature married guy and John a young fellow. Isn¬īt interesting that there was not generational gap. They were united not for wordly common interests but for their love for Christ and this is what we should work for today also.
Rick of Alabama nailed it on the head. Ultimately the youth are to be trained up in the ways of the Lord by their parents. Since the family altar has almost disappeared and the parents are too busy or too tired or would rather watch tv or mess around on the computer the youth are not getting the training and teaching they need from their parents. This has probably had more to do with youth ministries coming into being than anything else. I am not sure but I bet that youth ministries are a relatively new thing. Probably started in the 1900's. Having said that, if the parents are unwilling to teach the youth then at least someone is willing to teach them in the ways of God according to the Bible. Unfortunately, most are trying to entertain them as Rick said.
While I understand the principal of combining youth and adults it will do absolutely little good if adults are unwilling to open up genuinely to young people.
Furthermore, we cannot expect young people to come to our level of intelligence and interests. It would be similar to thinking that a toddler would be ready for Grudem's systematic theology or Keener's commentaries on John.
Another thought, after I was out of the house and left home I found myself at a church with a college and career group that was very engaging. God used that group to make a crucial line to reach me.
Finally, most of these youth leaders are more spirtitual and enthusiastic which is what young people need. No actually I'm wrong, its something we all need!!! Fact is I've heard some of the most firey challenging sermons from youth ministries.
It's not that God hasn't called us to work with young people. It's that the "Age Segregation" approach did not come from prayerful study of the Bible. It came from secular education, rock music, entertainment, and marketing. Further, the idea of having the youth seperated from the rest of the churches life, has produced the very thing churches wanted to avoid. As soon as the youth come of age, they leave the church because for 18 yrs. they have been inundated with entertainment, and now they cannot relate to what the "Grown ups" are doing. The underlying rebellion of youth makes them say "If these dumb old folks don't start doing things the way we want, we will leave". The sad thing is that many churches are giving in to these rebellious demands in order to keep people in the church. The Family Integrated churches are nothing new. They are doing church the way folks used to before the "Youth Group" era. All the family sets together, and the young people are not distracted by their peers; as is the case when all of the young people set together. Once again, the idea that "Youth need to be together" is something that is believed soley because it has been said for so long. Families and society ahve gotten along for millenia without that approach.