Many years ago I had a close Christian friend tell me that her and her family (mom, dad, 2 sons) were looking for a new church and one of their goals was to join a church that did not have a youth group. Of course, this wasn’t their only requirement (doctrinally sound, etc were requirements) but it had become very important to her. Honestly, I thought she was nuts! Her boys were about to be pre-teen… or do they call them tweens these days… anyway, I was thinking her kids are going to need friends when they become the dreaded teenagers (this was back when I thought teenagers had to behave the way the world says teenager have to behave) and what better friends then to have as part of the youth group?
Fast forward a couple year later and we had moved across town and were going to a different church. I started paying attention to their youth group as my conversation with my friend was always in the back of my mind. As I watched our youth group (no, I didn’t have any kids of that age yet) it became glaringly obvious that our youth looked no different than the youth of the world. They dressed the same, they talked the same, they had the same attitude. We, as Christians, are called to be set apart.
The church was having a potluck one day after the service. As I was standing in line to get my kids their plates of food I overheard a conversation between our youth minister and a 16 year old girl who were standing right in front of me. As I listened to their discussion I was, quite frankly, appalled by what I heard and envisioned Natasha having this same conversation in a few years. Instead of the youth minister kindly but firmly pointing this girl to have this discussion with her parents he engaged her about boyfriends and how important they can be in a girls life, etc. I realize, to the world this is a completely normal conversation but to someone who desires, more then anything, to raise her children in the admonition of the Lord I was sickened. There are so many biblical teachings this youth minister could have said to this young girl but instead played into what the world has taught her.
Anyway, I came across the video below that explains better then I can why our family doesn’t attend a church with a youth group. The video is about 39 minutes long but SO worth it! He talks about how Sunday school and youth groups started here in America. Watch to the end when Voddie gives a simple message to fathers and another simple messages to pastors.