We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Youth Minister


We must reform our view of the qualification for—and even the legitimacy of—a “youth minister.”  The normative pattern in Scripture implores young people to emulate the values of their elders.  They must respect them, be instructed by them and follow their example. . . .  Thus, older men in the church bear the first responsibility for training youth; the older women to follow “likewise” in their steps.  We must therefore reject the appalling notion of the model of youth minister as a recently graduated extrovert who looks and acts just like a high schooler himself.  If our youth cannot “relate to” older men, then we are seeing evidence of older men having dropped the ball years ago.

Christopher Schlect, Critique of Modern Youth Ministry, pg.15

9 comments:

Doug Evans said...

This is so true. The closest thing our little church has to a "Youth Minister" is John. John is a Deacon, the president of the Church Board, a grandfather, an introvert, and a wonderful loving Christian. He can't play guitar, he won't sing, and the kids eat up every word he says because each word comes from God.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Schlect is absolutely correct.

The pattern of Scripture - the ELDER leading the younger. These so-called "bible college" graduates are not elders, in any sense of the word. We've made a huge mistake thinking a few years in a "Christian" college makes a young man a worthy leader of God's flock.

I will say this - from my observation, the youth love to look up to these wet-behind-the-ears young guys. Like the author of that quote said, they love following a guy in his 20s who still looks and acts just like a teenager. Likewise, the young girls look up to the college girls, not to the mature, grown women. The youth want to emulate those who perpetuate this constant adolescence. They do not look to actual mature adults as role models.

The icing on the cake is when the mothers dress like their college age daughters.

It's all exaltation of youth. Sadly, my husband and I have learned "our place" in the church.

-Carolyn

Matthew Beech said...

As a "youth minister" (and not a youthful minister, by any means), I wholeheartedly agree!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I was a Sunday School teacher for junior and senior high school for ten years and never once had to play games or tell jokes or dumb down teaching. And guess what -- they ate up as much meat as I could feed them!

Anonymous said...

See, Glenn, that's the truth, and is grieves me that not all churches understand that. We've seen the clown act far too many times. My husband and I worked in youth ministry in the past. We NEVER played games, never tried to be "cool", never cracked jokes, never dumbed anything down, etc. We were just straightforward, spoke the truth, and loved with sincerity. We had same reaction you received from some, but not all, children.

Children that were used to the typical "youth ministry" way, and developed a taste for it, didn't care for us. Neither did the know-it-all's, the ones with lots of Bible head knowledge, but from their behavior it was clear their hearts were far from the Lord.

Just like when Jesus spoke the truth, the word divides, because He is the truth. Some followed Him and hungered for meat. Others who were self righteous, or indifferent, or just wanted a good time, walked away.

-Carolyn

Martha said...

Taught 'Sunday School' for years in conservative churches. In the last church, an elder became upset with me when we had our Bibles opened and were reading verse upon verse in the Book of Acts, while discussing the stoning of Stephen. He and his wife were followers of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, believing the teachings of men/women over the Word of God.

I was told the children wouldn't be able to 'hear from god' correctly if we didn't follow the penned writings - rightfully called "Sunday School Curriculum" - of the Sunday School Superintendent's choice of materials. And due to my rebellion for not following their SS false teachings, a woman Assembly of God pastor was asked to sit in on my class for a time, sharing stories of her personal words from god she received, as in 'audible voices.'

I have discovered in most post modern churches, even pastors/leadership become very angry revilers when the instructor chooses to teach directly from God's Word rather than a church's favorite human teacher.

Our last 'youth minister' encouraged our young ladies to go out and get birth control, even setting up appointments, with parents unaware of her actions. So currently, I'm not impressed with the function of the so called youth minister title within churches and frankly do not see that title within our Holy Scriptures. Thankful our children did not sit under her and her husband's authority in our church for we kept them at home on Wednesday evenings, instead of receiving that family's unbiblical instruction.

Martha said...

Carolyn,

You are so correct in your analysis of the bread and circus church. You are not alone in desiring serious truth for our young people and you must have grieved for these young souls...and the souls of their parents. We recently had a family discussion where our children said that most people want to be entertained within the church in this day and age, rather than receive serious instruction. And this came out of the mouths of our twenty somethings!

Our greatest missionary work is in our own backyards here in America!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Martha,

THAT is a horror story!!!! But it demonstrates a reason why our youth are egregiously lacking in biblical knowledge but are solid when it comes to self-esteem and emotionalism.

Anonymous said...

Hi Martha,

Yes, my husband and I grieve. Not only for the youth and their parents, but also for the church as a whole. You hit the nail on the head... so many want to be entertained. If it's not entertainment, it's legalisms in various forms, or other serious issues. We so quickly forget that much of the entire NT is comprised of letters written to correct problems in the church, yes even the fledgling church formed on pentecost. These problems persist even to this day.

Your comment about pastors/leadership becoming angry revilers when one chooses the Scriptures over favorite human teachers ... it is unfortunately true. It is difficult to comprehend hostility from leadership when one just wants the Bible, unvarnished by human opinion or tradition. We've had similar experiences, when we've addressed off the mark teaching in the church (like Warren/Hybels seeker falsehoods, or Driscoll perversions), or things like irreverence/silliness/etc. One of the worst, my husband was slandered viciously by a leader because my husband tried to address silliness and casualness during worship in that assembly.

Irony: "And due to my rebellion for not following their SS false teachings, a woman Assembly of God pastor"... you supposedly "rebelled" by following Scripture and not teaching false doctrines, but a FEMALE pastor was called in to correct you? Who is rebelling, exactly? :)

Your story about the youth "minister" was horrifying, but I wish I could say I've never heard such a thing But I have. Sadly, a precious elderly sister we know told us a similar story that occurred in an evangelical church (non-pentecostal) in our area that she once attended.

The Lord must be ill!

You are spot-on about the greatest missionary work; it is indeed in our own backyards. Even in the four walls of evangelical assemblies.

-Carolyn