The Bible on Youth Ministry

I have often heard that youth ministry is “more than just preaching.” What does that mean exactly? For some churches, elaborate music performances passed off as “worship” to draw in the “young crowd” seems to work. Other churches use pre-packaged youth programs and lessons designed to entertain the young people, have them participate in some fun games, all while instilling a moral or two (or are young people just playing alone to get the candy that seems to always be waiting at the end of class?).

And many churches have this crazy idea that it is a ministry to stick all the babies and toddlers into a nursery, apparently because parents can’t pay attention and be in charge of their children simultaneously.

But by and large, “more than just preaching” seems to involve segregating young people from adults, stripping away what is beneficial (i.e., preaching) and watering it down with junk.

I love the Bible, and I love to stick to it. And nowhere is there even a precedent for age segregation within the assembly. I don’t care what your church constitution says, and it doesn’t matter to me what “the Lord has said to your heart.” To the Law and the Testimony of the word of God I must go; whoever speaks contrary to it does so because they have no light in them, and whoever adds thereunto is reproved by the word as a liar.

It is a point of great rejoicing that Jesus’ accepted little children and allowed them to come directly to Him. But when we gather in His name, suddenly children aren’t important enough to sit in the assembly of the saved and to hear the word of God taught. They are ushered away where cartoon depictions of Moses and Jesus are used to teach “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten” type lessons.

Is it not amazing that the Apostles appointed no segregation of the youth? This could be the reason churches are drying up spiritually–the young people grow up on the milk of the word and only occasionally get to sit in on the “real” Bible teaching with the other adults. (“Real” is on quotes, because in most churches there’s a problem with the main preaching as well, sadly.)

Assemblying isn’t a terribly formal affair. If your baby cries, take care of it. If your child gets sick, take care of it. Raise up your children in the way they should go–in the assembly of the saints–and when they are old, they won’t depart from it. Let your toddlers grow up understanding what it means to be in an assembly. Let your children develop the discipline to sit and listen to a preacher share the word of God.

Now, it is not surprising that some parents may not want their children there with them. They probably have no idea how to act around their kids–who are raised by television, video games, their friends, the government, and the toy and electronic departments at stores or malls. I see how these kids act when they come into my department at work, and it is very apparent that not only is someone sparing the rod, but they are failing to set boundaries and positive examples. Thank you, modernism and humanism, for giving us the “wisdom” that we are merely animals. I guess to be up to date I shouldn’t condemn animal-like behavior in humans (after all, why should they act different right?), but I know better.

One shouldn’t have to grow up without receiving the meat of the Word, and no, there is no biblical reason why they can only receive that in the home. Children and teens need to be received into the assembly and thoroughly grounded in His Word. Have we forgotten that young people learn quicker and with better recollection than do older people? Should we not be worried about the next generation of the body of Christ, or are we fine leaving it to young people with little to no experience sitting in no a real assembly of the saints, and not one which caters to their needs?

Let’s keep in mind that our guide and rule is the Scriptures. Let’s be careful how we worship lest we add tradition unto His Word.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Use your Gravatar-enabled email address while commenting to automatically enhance your comment with some of Gravatar's open profile data.

Comments must be made in accordance with the comment policy. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam; learn how your comment data is processed.

You may use Markdown to format your comments; additionally, these HTML tags and attributes may be used: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

the Rick Beckman archive
Scroll to Top