I found this quote in my files. I had torn the page from an article in O Timothy Magazine, Vol.20, Issue 7, 2003. This citation was highlighted on page 7, and continuing on page 8. I did not note the author. I think it is something we need to remember when it comes to just exactly what we should be doing about our youth in church.
The church is not in the business of entertaining young people, but calling them to discipleship in Christ and separation from the world and holiness of living. It is true that what you win them with you win them to. If a church uses worldly means to win young people, those thusly won will be worldly.
If a church has an organized youth group, it must be very careful about the selection of those who lead the youth. Young people don’t need a “Good Times Charlie.” They don’t merely need another buddy who will pal around with them in fun and games. They get plenty of that. What they desperately need, and what the church is required by God to give them, are godly, spiritually mature people who will love them and show them the path in God’s perfect will, who will call them to reject the vain, “cool” ways of this present wicked world, who will challenge them to be pure, to pull down the worldly idols from their hearts, to give themselves wholly to the service of Jesus Christ while there is still time, to yield to Christ’s command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.
Unfortunately, I have been in churches where the youth pastor is indeed another immature “buddy” leading immature youth. One church we attended for about six months, a local “Willow Creek” wannabe, was one of the most disappointing in this area, and our two teens wanted nothing to do with the youth group after a few Sundays - they said it was like being back in junior high with a public school mentality and lots of PDA. The spiritual junk food served up in that youth group, and so many others we’ve seen in operation, does nothing for building spiritual maturity in young people.
It’s time we start treating our youth like young adults and giving them real meat all the time!