Does Your Youth Ministry Mess with Christ’s Bride?

| February 25, 2015

Much ink has been spilled and many words have been typed about shallow approaches to youth ministry and their damaging effect on young people’s engagement with Christ and the local church as they enter adulthood. There are valuable critiques; I’ve issued many of them. Youth pastors, directors, and workers need to be constantly called back to a focus on substantive, biblical, and gospel-centered ministry to young people, so that they do not fall prey to the gleam of a thriving and fun youth ministry that does not contribute to lasting kingdom fruit.

A strong and drastic reaction against youth ministry, by some, has been to eliminate it completely—to entirely integrate the younger generations of believers into the life of the church. There’s warrant in this move . . . when it actually works. The problem is that it can sometimes cut out a key season of ministry for both students and leaders, a time that God can use in powerful ways in spiritual development and relational growth in Christian community.

Holding the Balance

The “balance” that I want to call for in youth ministry today continues to walk a careful line between “entertainment” youth ministry (the shallow type that gravitates…

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