Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Worldly Youth Groups

They have their own unregulated world where adults have little or no
access. From Myspace to instant messaging to youth group "worship
gatherings". It's a movement cut off from the rest of the church.
Worship times led by a youth leader who embodies a worldly image and
style that many youth only wish they had the guts to flaunt in the
face of their parents. Led by a youth leader with a confidence and an
eloquence in speech that intimidates mild-mannered older folks from
even daring to imply that there seems to be a love of the world in the
outward appearance and affections of the leader.

This unfettered youth environment discourages the God ordained
structures of church authority and adult oversight where critical
discernment and good judgment could be utilized. These are the
unfettered youth programs in many churches, unrestrained and free from
the shackles of propriety and appropriateness. Anything goes styles of
worship and expression is common place. Who's to say it is not right?
Who's going to be the wet blanket and raise the red flag of
discernment when song or worship mirrors the world's self-gratifying
methods? Who will dare to say "your worship is worldly" or overly
feelings based? Where is the elder adult who has the spiritual
stability and maturity to understand the complicated web of proper
worship versus "anything goes" worship?

But what are we to expect when the church leadership props up a
dynamic pied-piper as a leader? Leaders who seem to overlook doctrinal
error so long as the kids show up. Their love of an eloquent tongue
seems greater than a love for biblical accuracy. Leaders who are so
desperate for numbers that they are willing to tolerate little
falsehoods. You know, the ones that are sympathetic towards, and flirt
with affections for ancient Roman Catholic mystical "disciplines" like
contemplative prayer or the catholic eucharist. Or ideas that compete
with the Great Commission like "the other half of the gospel" which is
to feed the poor and save the village or saving the environment. Ideas
like these are given equal status or even considered actually
spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But who is going to speak up? Who is going to be the boy who tells the
emperor that he has no clothes on? Who will go against the king as
Micaiah did in 1 Kings 22? Or as Elijah?

How long will the older folks remain silent?

The youth in our evangelical churches are being groomed to become the
next generation of blind mice. Who will tell them that they should
submit themselves under Biblical church leadership? Biblical that is.
It surely won't be their youth leader. Not church leadership that is
ambiguous on the tough issues. You know, like telling a young person
that you should dress with decency when entering the doors of the
church out of a sense of reverence to God. Or like telling the young
person why they should never again wear the t-shirt that says "Jesus
is my homeboy". Or another one like how you as a young man with
earrings are feminine. Or how God did not create your body to be a
piercing pin-cushion, following in lock step fashion with the God
rejecting lost secular world.

Please, older folks, speak up. Your young are confused and misled! Has
this happened because YOU have remained silent for too long? They are
misguided by the world. They love the way the world looks, the way the
world sounds, what the world values. Take a close look. They are NOT
emulating you. They are copying the world. May God forgive our
silence. How long will you remain silent? Before it's too late?

-KCO

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of thinkerup.

- 2 Thinkerup 10:5

2:19 PM  
Blogger Kennyo said...

That is funny. I am a fan of satire---you should explain what frustrates you about this post and what provoked you to leave such a comment.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kennyo,

Thank you for being bold enough to tell the truth. The youth group at my former church practically self-destructed while it was being led by an 18 year old who didn't know what he was doing. Yes, he had approx. 100 kids coming to the youth group, but it was reported from some parents that kids were swinging from the rafters and dancing provocatively during praise and worship. Its sad because there were some teens there who did want to learn about the Lord but were not able to because the young man leading the youth group didn't know much if anything about God's word. The young man eventually left in a huff after the leadership questioned his methods and took many of the youth with him. After that incident I promised myself that I wouldn't be silent again. But I don't know if I'll ever let my teens partcipate in a youth group ever again.


God bless you for your faithfulness to his Word and keep up the good work!

Kim

4:30 PM  
Blogger Henry (Rick) Frueh said...

The church has morphed into specialty ministries that the New Testament never deliniated. Children's ministry, youth ministry, divorce ministry, old people's ministry, couples ministry, ad infinitum. So the emphasis is on the grouping, not the Savior.

5:47 PM  
Blogger pastoradub said...

Kennyo,

As a youth pastor I would implore you to reconsider your resolve to keep your teens from all youth ministries. Even though it may seem that all youth groups are geared toward entertainment and blend so easily with secular culture, there are some that are intent on teaching scripture and discipling students toward a lifetime of growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. I was reminded that there are other youth ministries like this while reading "Young, restless and reformed" in the September issue of Christianity Today. Take this from a youth pastor who is called to preach the whole body of scripture yet struggling with the students desire to be entertained.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Phil Perkins said...

Kenny,
Right on the money as always. But cheer up. There is another side to what is happening in the youth today.

At Yellowstone Baptist College, where I am lucky (blessed) to teach, there are some of the most godly, Bible-obsessed, God-fearing, committed folks I have ever known.

It seems God is raising up a remnant--and a fairly big one--among the youth today. They will no listen to the kind of Arminian, man-centered pablum that my generation ate like candy at their age. Frankly, I wish the folks my age in many churches were as God-centered, committed, and self-debasing as most of my students.

They are so far ahead of where I was at that age, I would be embarassed to have a comparison done.

You are right, though. The older folks should straighten up.

Your brother in the fight,
Phil Perkins.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Gigi said...

At the church I attend, the youth is dedicated and active .... even if their music gets a little too loud for some of us. I don't care to argue about style as long as it honors the Lord and the Word is taught. And you can see the results with young people who are very involved in the life of the church and volunteering for missions. God always has his remnant.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Mark and Sara said...

sadly, your argument is proven by the responses of some of the above folks. Many times they are well meaning, but ignorant of the true calling of the church. We are to glorify God, not ourselves, and make disciples. Neither is being done in most youth groups. I can say that as an evangelist who comes into many churches, and a former youth minister myself.
So, while we do not wish to be legalistic and boring, we also cannot bow to cultural whims that are driven entirely by entertainment, self fulfillment, and the desire to be cool that overrides being sold out for Christ. These key phrases don't mean a thing, I know some tattooed, pierced, sexually promiscuous teens that would say they were sold out for Jesus and really believe it. They have never been shown the whole counsel of God, nor do they care to hear about any scripture that would make them change their ways.
Great blog, I will be checking in more often.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't realize old people knew how to blog.

2:24 PM  

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