Problems Within Youth Ministry


I wrote about problems within youth ministries once before, and lately this subject has been on my heart again.  At this time we are attending a church that does not have a youth group, but many of my daughter’s friends participate in these activities.  Last week I listened to a sermon/talk by Voddie Baucham given at an NCFIC Conference about youth groups.  If you have the time, please take a listen!

Listen to this message here.

If your child does participate in a youth group, what is the fruit that you have seen in the children who participate?  True Christians will produce fruit.  Although there are times in our Christian walk that we may stumble, looking back we will see upward movement.  The church is supposed to be a place where Christians meet, praise the Lord, exhort each other, and hear the Word preached.  It is a place for us to become equipped to reach to lost, and then we bring them to church once they are saved!  This is the New Testament model.  Church was not designed to be where we invite lost friends so the pastor can do all of the work.  Our brothers and sisters in Christ (and especially our impressionable children) can be influenced by the ways of the world when we bring the world in.  I’m afraid that most churches have this backwards in our time.   I was once so encouraged while listening to Michelle Duggar share about this topic.  I  cannot remember where I heard this, but she was speaking about moving from a large church to a small church.  They felt like this small church was a good fit for their family for a time, but once their children began reaching “youth group” age, the church began pressuring them to join.  And guess what?  The youth group produced no fruit!  At that point they began a home church with a few other families.

Is your youth group all about entertainment and games?  Friends, this can do so much harm to our children.  They need to realize that church isn’t about “fun” that we can have, but instead what we can do for the Lord.  Are we glorifying ourselves, or glorifying God?

Biblically, there are no mention of youth groups, but instead, families worshipped together.  Do we really believe that God’s Word is all-sufficient in matters of worship?

Weekend Reading

I have recently been reading The Duties of Parents by J.C. RyleIt is a very short read, and I found it for free herePlease take a look, this booklet has so much important information to help us raise our children for the Lord!

The Myth of Teenage Rebellion  falls in line with some of the thoughts above.  A good read!

Possibly linking to:  

Growing Home, Tending the Home Tuesdays, Raising HomemakersBabies and BeyondWhat Joy Is MineA Wise Woman Builds Her Home ,Walking Redeemed, A Proverbs 31 WifeThe Modest MomA Mama’s StoryMom’s the Word , Mommy MomentsHearts For Home,  Time Warp Wife, Graced Simplicity, Christian Mommy BloggerFaith Filled Fridays, Marriage, Motherhood, and Missions,Wholehearted Home,Serving Joyfully, The Art of Homemaking Mondays,Cornerstone Confessions,  Good Tips Tuesday,  Paradise Praises

17 thoughts on “Problems Within Youth Ministry

  1. Constance Ann Morrison says:

    I agree that youth group can be unproductive, but I also think youth groups can be edifying and fun. I was blessed by a high school youth group that welcomed me when I knew very little about the Christian walk.

  2. Diana says:

    I agree completely. Like many others, I grew up with the “youth group mentality,” and would have been shocked and appalled had anyone questioned that. Youth group was just WHAT YOU DID, and for crying out loud, don’t question it! (Never question sacred cows!!) But once I was able to think outside the box a bit, I realized that: (1) Youth group is never mentioned or prescribed in the Bible, (2) Youth group is basically an invention of the past 100-150 years – and most of what has come out of the church that is “new and improved” has been utterly disastrous, and (3) Youth groups consistently bear bad fruit. When my husband and I (before we were married) were in charge of a youth group, we saw nothing but bad fruit coming from it – but we didn’t question it at the time because it was just “how things were done.” But now that we’ve gotten out of that this-is-how-it’s-always-been-done mindset, we run far and fast from youth groups and churches that have them.

  3. Trisha says:

    I think Youth Church can be a good idea for bus ministry kids. Our small church has had Children’s Church (mostly bus ministry kids) for decades. But once these kids hit the “teen years”, they would usually quit coming. So we started having Youth Church. We try to take them into the main worship service about half the the Sundays and the other half we have Youth Church, in which we try to teach and answer their questions from a Biblical worldview. These kids come to church by themselves from disfunctional homes and lack the maturity and attention span to always sit thru regular worship service. They all go to public school and we try to counter that evolutionary, humanistic brainwashing with the creationist teaching of the Bible.

    But I agree that in Christian families it is good for the children to learn to sit in worship service with their parents.

  4. stasia says:

    Nicole, I love that you have called it a youth ministry and not a youth group. I think this is one problem in and of itself. Is this some social group or a place of ministry and growth?

  5. Julianne says:

    As a teen I was actively involved in my church’s youth group. It was a place where I was encouraged in my faith walk, made many strong Christian friends, and provided numerous opportunities to serve within the church and the community. However, I strongly agree that youth groups can become overly concerned with being “fun” and “entertaining” and lose a lot of the meat. I don’t think being a part of youth ministry events are a problem in themselves, but I think it can become an issue when teens are allowed to attend as a substitute for corporate worship or when teaching is dummed down.

  6. Heather says:

    We watched our church’s youth ministry for years before our oldest was “of age” to join. Sadly, while we love our church home– and youth leaders– we saw very little there that was what could be called fruit of lasting value. We considered allowing our oldest to join in simply for the “fun of it” but she chose instead to invest in other areas of ministry with our family. Six years later, I can say it was a great decision, and one that we don’t regret in the least.

  7. Lisa Koster says:

    I grew up in a church that did not have a youth group and always thought I was missing out. (I also wondered why none of my “friends” invited me to theirs.) One thing that concerns me today are the cliques. It’s sad that not only do students need to deal with them in school, but at youth group too.

  8. Nontie says:

    Great Post! I agree with you, being a fellow youth, I can testify to the truth of every word you said. Many a time we (young people) miss the point of why we attend church. Most view it as a social gathering where we have ‘fun’ and miss sight of the cross. Lord help us! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Visiting from – A Victorious Woman of Faith:

    Oh yeah still on the issue of church, you might want to consider –

    Remain in the Lord!

  9. Lauren says:

    I agree! Many churches have sought to entertain the youth instead of teaching them God’s Word. At the church I attend, the teens have their own Sunday School (just like all the other ages) where they are taught the Word of God on their terms. The teens are encouraged to get involved in ministry, many help on the bus and in Junior church, sing in the teen choir (we have a kids and an adult choir as well), help in the nursery, play the piano, and sing a special. They are members that encouraged to participate. About once a month or so they do have a Friday night activity, but that is to encourage them to be friends with each other, and to give them good activities rather than much of the junk offered them in the world. We have a great small group of teens right now. (about 12 or so) I think it is important to make them a part of the church rather than separate.

  10. Laurie says:

    Great post! I agree. I think there are definitely some problems that exist in youth ministry. I will check out some of the readings and try to listen to the message you recommended too.

  11. Tshanina says:

    I agree that we shouldn’t leave it up to our pastors to do all of the work.

    Youth groups can be fun while also serving the Lord.

  12. Melissa says:

    Thanks for sharing this article, I was pleased to have found it (amamasstory linkup). This topic is heavy on my heart and has been for a long time (I believe since I was of the youth group age, though I never attended).

    I look forward to perusing some of the resources you mentioned. Thank you, again! It’s a controversial topic, and I hope to see much more on it!

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