Recently, I came across a video that depicts modern youth ministry. It discusses the youth ministry movement & culture in which we live. It asks questions whether we are being effective or even Biblical in the way modern youth ministry is done. I want you to view this video and hit me up with some feedback on your thoughts. Below the video, you will find my lengthy thoughts about the movie. What can I say? I had a lot to say about the movie! The video is lengthy, about 55 minutes or so, but very well done and worth your time.
Here are my thoughts on the video above:
Thoughts on Modern Student Ministry…Is modern youth ministry working? This is a very broad question that I personally do not feel at liberty to answer due to the fact that I can only answer for our own student ministry. I would have to say, “Some.” Now, this is a cliché answer, but it is the correct one. I cannot say that it is not working, because I have seen some significant growth from our students, and their families. I have seen our students get involved serving in the local church. I have seen families revolutionized as a result of what God did in our student ministry. So, it is working, but not exactly the way that God intends, I am sure, because we are dealing with fleshly people. Student Ministry must have purpose and vision. It is not all about games, attractions, trips, and entertainment. You have to decide what your ministry is about! We have developed a short vision statement, “The Grove student ministry exist to reach students with the Gospel; and we are devoted to see them develop into a committed follower of Christ.” Everything that we do backs this vision, or at least it should. If we do an event or activity, there should be a purpose behind it that is ultimately found in this vision statement. This vision is not separate from the family. It is a help to the family. We provide an atmosphere for the student and their family that supports what they are teaching at home.
Thoughts on Parenting…I agree with the video that the family is the primary discipler of the student! They are the ones who are going to have to answer to God one day for how they raise the kids that He entrusted them with. Do I feel that the majority of families are being successful? No, and I mean Christian families by the way. I look across our church, and I am saddened to admit it, but we face issues with our families just like many other churches. So, who is to blame? The church or the family? It is not the church’s fault that parents have dropped the ball. This is where I felt the video went wrong. It almost seemed to me that the video blamed the church for the families problems. Now, I do think some churches do not teach the family their priorities in their own kids lives like they should. Parents must get training and teaching from the church. This is our job. We should be training and teaching the families that we minister with. I am all for families! I support the family ministry. I think it is great. I am all for parents coming on youth activities, sitting through student services, and being a part of our student ministry. The reason I feel this way is because I believe in the family. So, since I believe this way, do I need to quit student ministry altogether? No! Why? My reason is based upon the foundation that God has called me to come alongside of families. I do not undermine them or seek to usurp their authority. I support our parents ALWAYS to our students. I encourage healthy and strong student/parent relationships.
Thoughts on Methods…I felt like this video criticized the method of youth ministry. I have said this before, and I will say it again, “Methods may change, but our message never changes.” I stand by this. Youth ministry is a method and a ministry of the local church. So, youth ministry should carry on the same mission as the church…correct? I tell our leaders and students in our ministry all of the time that our mission is “to reach students with the Gospel, and commit ourselves to develop them into becoming followers of Christ.” This is the mission of the church found in the Scripture (Matthew 28). So, we are to disciple families. Therefore, we are to create methods so that we can more effectively accomplish the mission that Jesus lays out for us. Youth Ministry is the method that God has called me too. This is why we do what we do!
Thoughts on Christians leaving the church…I tend to see this trend throughout church life. I think it is because of lack of service in the church and lack of Biblical doctrine in the student ministry. I teach doctrine regularly, and try to do it in a practical way for our students, but they have to hear it. I also provide ways for our students to serve in our local church. We find that Christian teens who stay in church after they graduate normally already had a connection to the local church before they graduated.
Overall Thoughts on the Movie…I enjoyed the movie. It was a professionally designed movie. I tended to think it was one-sided. I would have liked to hear more about what people who are currently in modern student ministry thought about some of the questions regarding family integrated ministry. Overall, though this was a good movie. It is not going to change my occupation or anything. I am not going to drop out of student ministry simply because of this movie. This does not mean to quit student ministry, but rather rethink the way your student ministry is operating. No, I am going to try to better accomplish the goals that Christ has laid out for us in Scripture. I am going to use this video as a motivation to better mentor our families and equip our families for Biblical discipleship. I recommend this video for everyone though, and you can gain your own personal thoughts and views on the video! I highly appreciate your feedback! I would love for you to leave a comment below with your thoughts on the video: