Monday, October 30, 2006

Rethinking Teen Ministry

TIME Magazine takes a look at the changing attitude in youth ministry.

Youth ministers have been on a long and frustrating quest of their own over the past two decades or so. Believing that a message wrapped in pop-culture packaging was the way to attract teens to their flocks, pastors watered down the religious content and boosted the entertainment. But in recent years churches have begun offering their young people a style of religious instruction grounded in Bible study and teachings about the doctrines of their denomination. Their conversion has been sparked by the recognition that sugarcoated Christianity, popular in the 1980s and early '90s, has caused growing numbers of kids to turn away not just from attending youth-fellowship activities but also from practicing their faith at all.

As the exodus has increased, churches are trying to reverse the flow by focusing less on amusement and more on Scripture.

Our family has chosen a more family integrated approach to discipling our children. I shared our thoughts on youth ministry here.

I also like the way Voddie Baucham says it,

God has given us a mechanism for multi-generational faithfulness and that mechanism is the family. And so one of the things the Church must do is to rediscover and re-emphasize the importance of the family as that discipling
agent and build up the family because that is what's crumbling.
Taking "multi-generational faitfulness" to heart, these grandparents have taken on the task of homeschooling their grandchildren. "
When someone in the fourth grade asked my grandson Justin if he wanted drugs, I said, 'You've got to stop, I'm pulling you out and teaching you at home,'" He said
I'm sure some folks are thinking that these seniors are off their rocker to take this on. And they'd literally be right. Why just sit around in some retirement village all day? My hats off to them, for showing that it doesn't take a village, but a family to educate children. Mary Nix has a few more links to other grandparent homeschool stories.

(HT: Al Mohler for the TIME article.)

Speaking of teens, this teen e-zine looks at apathy in our culture.

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