Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Some Thoughts on Youth Ministry
Guest Column by Eric Mock
Pastor, River's Edge Bible Fellowship
In the midst of difficult times, we often find ourselves praying to be spared from these trials. Yet it is in these times that our Lord God refines and purifies a people after His own possession and to His own glory. We must praise God for these challenging times, as in the midst of them we can see His hand at work in all of our lives. I have found the best antidote when I get tired is to add another ministry. In this case, we evaporate all opportunity to reflect on our own condition as we are immersed in service of our Lord. One of these ministries we added is a Bible study to teens that has captivated my heart.
We are in a difficult and confusing time in our country, and our response remains the same as it has been in recent years. It is to find ways to ease our pain, and please the senses. Rather than being confronted with the the depth of our own sin through trials, we seek therapy and consolation for our condition. The product of a post-modern thinking, we have an adult generation that arrives at church expecting an encouraging, light hearted message rather than an encounter with the Truth. One would expect that the product of such adult thinking is a generation of teens lost with no answer in sight. And this is absolutely the truth! Surrounded by broken homes, fractured marriages and hypocrisy there are no hand holds for them to grab onto in the journey towards maturity. Yet in this tragic situation God has raised up a generation of teens zealous for Truth, real Truth from people who really care about them and live this Truth in their lives. This generation, called by some a post Christian generation, are being raised up by God hungry for answers. I have thirty teens in a town of 2000 people that come every Sunday night to our home, not for pizza or video games, but to learn about the one True God and His Word, and experience godly fellowship. On Sunday morning these teens are taking pages of notes, pouring through their Bibles with every Scripture referenced. These teens are our modern day Bereans. Rather than passing off the job of working with the teens to those that will entertain, teach teens the Truth that they might be the witnesses to the adult lost and their communities. In the former Soviet Union, it is the teens who are in passionate service of our Lord in communities, in orphanages, to those in need and even to those parents under which they suffered years of abuse. I understand that 85% of those children claiming Christ at an early age in America walk away from their faith before leaving high school. This stands to our shame, as far too long we have been teaching religion rather than Biblical Truth and what it means to be truly saved through Christ, our living God and only hope.
I offer these words as a corrective in our day. Rather than constantly adapting churches to meet the needs of a therapeutic generation, let us boldly teach the Word of God, with conviction and love, to a generation that is ready to be ambassadors in the service of our Lord. These difficult times are producing a generation of teens raised up by God to be life changers! There is nothing wrong with the seed - broadcast it to the glory of God!