12 November 2007

Needed: strong youth pastors

Phil Johnson has a post over at Pyromaniacs about the need for youth pastors to be just as bold at proclaiming truth as any man in a pulpit:
Think about it: Youth ministries (not all of them, of course, but the vast majority of squidgy evangelical ones) deliberately shield their young people from the hard truths and strong demands of Jesus. They tailor their worship so worldly youth can feel as comfortable in the church environment as possible. They squander the best opportunities of those formative student years by minimizing spiritual instruction while emphasizing fun and games. They let their teens live with the false notions that believing in Christ is easy, sanctification is optional, and religion is supposed to be fun and always suited to our liking. They fail to equip their high school students for the rigorous defense of the faith they will need in college. They neglect to integrate them as young adults into the adult community of the church.

And then they wonder why so many young people abandon the church about the same time they leave home.

We teach the kids in Sunday School the truth about God, the Ten Commandments, the cross, salvation, etc. In college and career ministry, they're taught how to be missionaries, or how to be bold in witnessing on their campus, or at their job. Um, what about those years in between? Should we not be getting them into the habit of refusing the things of the world? Do we think that we have trained them well enough as children that we can just let them fly blind through high school, and they'll have it all together when they graduate?

The high school years are the most difficult for continuing a child in the ways of God. If your church is in the process of selecting a youth pastor, do yourself a favor: spend as much time--if not more--praying and seeking God's direction as you would if you were choosing a pastor for the whole church.

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