Most churches heartedly affirm the importance of a thriving youth ministry within the local church. However, unless we are intentional, youth ministry can also be mistakenly viewed as a separate entity apart from the wider church body. So it’s important that we ask, “Are the structures and programs we have in place serving to help or hinder incorporating our young people into a bigger and more biblical vision of what it means to be a community of believers?”
Pastor Jon Nielson has some good diagnostic questions for youth ministers to think about. These questions also apply to parents and the wider church leadership:
- Does our ministry compete in any way with the priority of corporate worship for students?
- Do our youth leaders intentionally encourage intergenerational relationships for the students?
- Does our ministry generally support or compete with the discipleship work of godly parents in our congregation?
- Are students encouraged to choose between youth ministry involvement/leadership and service in other areas of the local church?
- Does the youth ministry hinder, in any way, the preparation of young men and women to engage in local church contexts as adult Christians?
(“Does Your Youth Ministry Mess with Christ’s Bride?”, www.thegospelcoalition.org.)
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