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Youth Programs

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  • Youth Programs

    I am coming to be conclusion that we are doing something fundamentally wrong with our youth programs. We have become glorified baby sitters rather than the leaders we are supposed to be.

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

    My Personal Blog

    My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

  • #2
    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
    I am coming to be conclusion . . .
    Took you long enough.





































































    ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
      Took you long enough.





































































      Come back here!



      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

      My Personal Blog

      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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      • #4
        ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

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        • #5
          My family used to try to put me in them when I was younger. They were boring and never held my interest. I learned more things from google than I ever did in those programs.
          "Kahahaha! Let's get lunatic!"-Add LP
          "And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility"-Samuel Taylor Coleridge
          Oh ye of little fiber. Do you not know what I've done for you? You will obey. ~Cerealman for Prez.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cerealman View Post
            My family used to try to put me in them when I was younger. They were boring and never held my interest. I learned more things from google than I ever did in those programs.
            That's pretty bad... unless you mean you used reputable apologetic websites? Like Christianthinktank and Tektonics?
            If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
              That's pretty bad... unless you mean you used reputable apologetic websites? Like Christianthinktank and Tektonics?
              I knew neither of those when I was younger. I would just google whatever questions I had,and some lead to atheist websites but then I would look over it from whatever Christian website I saw.
              Most these youth ministries are filled with teens or kids that don't really have an attention span for anything deeper. My brother is a pastor and I know he tries and most of the kids he had was just there to play games.
              Now though some of them have changed though most of them don't know much about apologetics.
              Then again it may have something to do with my tendencies to be anti-social at times, but yeah these things never held my interest.
              "Kahahaha! Let's get lunatic!"-Add LP
              "And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility"-Samuel Taylor Coleridge
              Oh ye of little fiber. Do you not know what I've done for you? You will obey. ~Cerealman for Prez.

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a really good youth leader for awhile. We did a lot of service oriented things, and through all this, attendance started booming. The church made the mistake of replacing her with someone younger when no problem existed.
                "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                Comment


                • #9
                  That's where I think the mistake starts. We try to attract kids with events and fun things - but while those have their place, that's not why we have a youth program - or ANY program. It gets to be all about numbers and we eventually lose even that.

                  Part of it to my mind is that we underestimate the kids. We assume they have no depth - so we never probe for it. Teens have weak to no relational ability outside their peer group (it's less we can't relate than they can't) so if you aren't looking, you aren't going to find that depth. We just assume they are all wading pools when in fact, a good many are already over their heads in the deep end. Event oriented programs don't give them the chance to grow.

                  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                  "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                  My Personal Blog

                  My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                    I am coming to be conclusion that we are doing something fundamentally wrong with our youth programs. We have become glorified baby sitters rather than the leaders we are supposed to be.
                    Let's consider this for a moment.

                    Youth programs are usually a ministry of a local church. Even if its some outside group's program, the church selects and brings them in.

                    So the youth have been going to broken programs sponsored by their churches. (I've read a fair number of articles to this effect which also support the OP.)

                    The churches never corrected for this.

                    So the portion of the church organization responsible (probably through neglect rather than malice) didn't do its job.

                    If the youth were ill-served, what does that say for the adults in the church? Probably not good.

                    I think its fair to extend this and say the Adult Education is also broken. My experience goes with this.

                    I think the vast majority churches need to throw out their entire education program and start over.
                    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                      That's where I think the mistake starts. We try to attract kids with events and fun things - but while those have their place, that's not why we have a youth program - or ANY program. It gets to be all about numbers and we eventually lose even that.

                      Part of it to my mind is that we underestimate the kids. We assume they have no depth - so we never probe for it. Teens have weak to no relational ability outside their peer group (it's less we can't relate than they can't) so if you aren't looking, you aren't going to find that depth. We just assume they are all wading pools when in fact, a good many are already over their heads in the deep end. Event oriented programs don't give them the chance to grow.
                      Thanks to my unorthodox upbringing, I had zero exposure to the youth group thing. Children and teens did pretty much the same things that adults did. We weren't allowed access to some of the more technical classes, but that was about it. My first contact with the concept of a youth group was when I was in high school, and I thought they were all kind of naive, goody-goody types who were all a bit geeky. I remember sometime after my family left the cult we were in, my mother invited some youth group kids over or tried to get my brother and I associated with them somehow, I can't really remember the details of the situation. Anyways, I just remember it being really awkward and I think I told her I wasn't going to have any part in that again.

                      My next real introduction to the youth group world was when I was doing sound for a Christian band that did a lot of touring. The manager of the band was a youth pastor, and his kids would help out occasionally, and, of course, a lot of the kids who would show up to the shows were youth group kids as well. Good kids, but again, I always got that sort of withdrawn and naive about the world impression from them.

                      From my experiences, I think the problem with a lot of youth group programs is that it's often an attempt to circle wagons around the children of a church's congregation to keep them from being exposed to the corruption of the world outside. Maybe that impression is wrong, but it's the one always got. I also always got the sense that youth group leaders tried too hard to be cool and relatable by doing things like...well...taking kids to a Christian rock concert. I mean, there's nothing wrong with taking kids to Christian rock concerts, but if that's as deep as the whole venture gets, then I don't see anything practical in it.

                      Honestly, I think they should scrap the whole Youth Group thing, and just get young people excited about things that the adults are doing, and, in my opinion, those things should include preparing Christians for evangelism, teaching courses on reading the Bible in it's original languages, apologetics, church history and theology, community welfare projects and the like. When I was a kid, I wanted to do things that the adults did, because it made me feel more grown up. I imagine that if the types of classes I just mentioned were accessible to me at a young age, I think I'd jump at the opportunity to be a part of it.
                      Last edited by Adrift; 05-23-2015, 05:50 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                        Let's consider this for a moment.

                        Youth programs are usually a ministry of a local church. Even if its some outside group's program, the church selects and brings them in.

                        So the youth have been going to broken programs sponsored by their churches. (I've read a fair number of articles to this effect which also support the OP.)

                        The churches never corrected for this.

                        So the portion of the church organization responsible (probably through neglect rather than malice) didn't do its job.

                        If the youth were ill-served, what does that say for the adults in the church? Probably not good.

                        I think its fair to extend this and say the Adult Education is also broken. My experience goes with this.

                        I think the vast majority churches need to throw out their entire education program and start over.
                        I don't disagree entirely. I'm leery of 'toss it all' until I understand exactly what's going wrong.

                        "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                        "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                        My Personal Blog

                        My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                          Thanks to my unorthodox upbringing, I had zero exposure to the youth group thing. Children and teens did pretty much the same things that adults did. We weren't allowed access to some of the more technical classes, but that was about it. My first contact with the concept of a youth group was when I was in high school, and I thought they were all kind of naive, goody-goody types who were all a bit geeky. I remember sometime after my family left the cult we were in, my mother invited some youth group kids over or tried to get my brother and I associated with them somehow, I can't really remember the details of the situation. Anyways, I just remember it being really awkward and I think I told her I wasn't going to have any part in that again.

                          My next real introduction to the youth group world was when I was doing sound for a Christian band that did a lot of touring. The manager of the band was a youth pastor, and his kids would help out occasionally, and, of course, a lot of the kids who would show up to the shows were youth group kids as well. Good kids, but again, I always got that sort of withdrawn and naive about the world impression from them.

                          From my experiences, I think the problem with a lot of youth group programs is that it's often an attempt to circle wagons around the children of a church's congregation to keep them from being exposed to the corruption of the world outside. Maybe that impression is wrong, but it's the one always got. I also always got the sense that youth group leaders tried too hard to be cool and relatable by doing things like...well...taking kids to a Christian rock concert. I mean, there's nothing wrong with taking kids to Christian rock concerts, but if that's as deep as the whole venture gets, then I don't see anything practical in it.

                          Honestly, I think they should scrap the whole Youth Group thing, and just get young people excited about things that the adults are doing, and, in my opinion, those things should include things like preparing Christians for evangelism, teaching courses on reading the Bible in it's original languages, apologetics, church history and theology, community welfare projects and the like. When I was a kid, I wanted to do things that the adults did, because it made me feel more grown up. I imagine that if the types of classes I just mentioned wee accessible to me at a young age, I think I'd jump at the opportunity to be a part of it.

                          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                          My Personal Blog

                          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I see real spiritual development in the Youth I lead. They are getting it, that this life isn't about them, it's about Him, and teenagers in one of the most self-involved parts of the U.S. (Orange County CA) come to me for prayer against back-sliding (I was very surprised when I heard that particular term used) and encouragement to seek holier living.

                            Do we have games? Sometimes. But we set time aside for worship, teaching and prayer and those are not infringed on by games except rare circumstances.

                            The Youth want two things. 1. More of God. 2. Fellowship with friends. We do our best to help with the first, and provide a location for the second before and after service.

                            Are other people's experiences so different?
                            Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
                              I see real spiritual development in the Youth I lead. They are getting it, that this life isn't about them, it's about Him, and teenagers in one of the most self-involved parts of the U.S. (Orange County CA) come to me for prayer against back-sliding (I was very surprised when I heard that particular term used) and encouragement to seek holier living.

                              Do we have games? Sometimes. But we set time aside for worship, teaching and prayer and those are not infringed on by games except rare circumstances.

                              The Youth want two things. 1. More of God. 2. Fellowship with friends. We do our best to help with the first, and provide a location for the second before and after service.

                              Are other people's experiences so different?
                              Too many programs I've seen don't put the kind of time/resources into growth. Given the right environment/leadership, I'm not at all surprised that you see kids making real growth. I just think we need, as a church, to make that possible in many, many more congregations (like, all of them).

                              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                              My Personal Blog

                              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                              Comment

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