As with a lot of things that get adopted in the church culture, youth groups started as a way to reach unchurched youth in high school. From there, the practice spread and changed over time until youth groups were viewed as a normative part of American church life.
And while there have been movements within conservative Reformed churches to move away from youth ministry and to emphasize the responsibilities of the parents to train their children,
what we’ve noticed is this: Youth ministry isn’t just the result of the church overstepping its bounds. Sometimes, the parents ask the church for it. Sometimes, it’s a result of the church’s collective fear that they are losing the next generation. And sometimes, it’s a focus on numbers and the growth of the church. But in every case, what we would argue is this: God’s word does not show us a pattern of singling out the youth and separating them from the rest of the flock on a regular basis for special instruction and ministry. Anytime the church adopts practices that cannot be found in God’s word, it is sin. Youth ministry won’t disappear overnight. But we should expect God to continue to mature and cleanse His church. If, as a church, we face the trials our Lord sends our way in the ways He has instructed us, we should expect to see an end to youth groups and youth ministry. Please join us as we discuss this issue.
Listen to the audio version here: https://theconqueringtruth.com/2023/09/why-youth-groups-are-still-not-the-answer-ep-137-audio/
Thumbnail image by Richard Masoner under CC BY-SA 2.0
11:01 Purpose of Church
20:19 Manufacturing Spiritual Experiences
25:50 Taking the Role of Parents
35:59 Dangers of Gathering Youth
47:26 Thinking Your Children are Saved
52:55 Good Youth Groups
Production of Reformation Baptist Church of Youngsville, NC
Hosts – Dan Horn, Jonathan Sides, Charles Churchill and Joshua Horn
Technical Director – Timothy Kaiser
Theme Music – Gabriel Hudelson