Youth Ministry: “A 50 Year Experiment Failed”

Youth Ministry: “A 50 Year Experiment Failed” August 3, 2011

If we used scripture as our primary basis of the church… would we come up with our current model of church? Would youth ministry even exist? is not only our overall current model of church unbiblical? But is youth ministry unbiblical? If it is unblibcal, would we as youth pastors be the ones responsible for the 85% of teenagers having walked away from the church? More teens becoming “fake Christian’s”? 20 somethings now suffering from extended adolescence? For 2/3 of a generation lost?

These are all questions being posed, In the new film “Divided” with young film maker Philip LeClerc, directed by Scott T. Brown… (You can view the entire film here, it will be up for free until September 15th) Brown strongly attacks youth ministry in a recent article saying that, “youth ministry is a 50 year old failed experiment…” The question being posed right now by many is, “should youth ministry as a whole be disbanded?”

Divided Trailer from NCFIC on Vimeo.

The question I’m posing right now is, “Is youth ministry the issue at hand? Is age segregated ministry truly responsible for the current status of the church?” Or would it be moreso the fact that the church has, culturally speaking, become irrelevant to the teenager and 20 something… That we have lost the concept of discipleship and mentoring, reaching out to the fatherless… Is this issue on the overall solely put on youth ministry and age segregated ministry…? Or is it the fact that with the creation of age segregated ministry we’ve enabled lazy men and fathers to sit back and hand off their responsibilities (i.e. youth)?

In the past few years I’ve been hearing and reading article after article, blog after blog, speaker after speaker saying that youth ministry is dying… I don’t know if I’d go as far to say that youth ministry is dying, but rather say that what we’re doing isn’t working. I don’t think that many youth pastors would argue that what we’re doing isn’t working, not only with the staggering statistics provided by Barna group stating that 2/3 of all teens associated with a youth group will eventually walk away from the church, but simply looking at the lack of 20 somethings in the pews today speaks for itself…

We don’t need to look only at only our model of youth ministry but we need to look at our overall model of church, taking it to the individual, more specifically the men, and challenge them to step up… father their children… take care of the orphaned and the widowed… Which is one of the main pushes for this movie “Divided”.

Though there were certain things in this movie that i didn’t necessarily agree with, I see there overall point, I definitely encourage any pastor, leader, parent, teenager or 20 something to watch this and join in on the discussion as to how we can prevent yet another generation being lost…

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