A few years ago I volunteered at an event put on by a national youth ministry. We bobbed for apples, captured flags, and raced eggs across the floor using only our noses.
As I toweled chocolate syrup from my chin, a leader ordered the teens into a semicircle. Others whispered to each other or stared at the floor. Unfortunately what I witnessed that night is hardly unique.
It was time for the devotional, which included a gospel presentation—but it was a gospel presentation that made me want to stand up and scream. "You won't lose your friends or be unpopular at school. Your life will be the same, just better." Maybe his words would have slipped by me if they hadn't been such blatant reversals of Jesus' own warnings about the offensiveness of his message or the inevitable hardships of following him. Often ministries, especially youth ministries, are heavy on fun and light on faith.
Today some youth ministries are almost devoid of religious education.
They are "holding tanks with pizza," as church researcher Ed Stetzer has called them.
Maybe you write “I am: silly, fun, outgoing, confused! The teenage years are especially sensitive ones where you feel like everyone is watching you. Often, we base our image on things we do, stuff we have, or other people’s view of us. Granted, they were asked in such a way to get you to answer selfishly, but are they not the same questions we ask ourselves. The reality is, if you were created by God, then you do not possess your life.
But being so self-conscious is also a form of pride. Why do you think it’s particularly easy to be selfish as a teenager? Do you think most people are arrogant or self-conscious? Is having a low self-image just as prideful as being arrogant? But if you get your value from those things, what is going to happen? You have been raised in a society that gives you boundless choices. I’ll do what I want." Discussion Questions (Continued):4. The decisions you make should not be made by you—they should be influenced by Scripture and the wisdom from those who love Jesus. He bought you back from your sinful state through His Son. • What value do you place on running your own life? We need to know what’s going on, when it’s happening, and why.
It's fired up entertainment and watered down gospel.
The entertainment emphasis can be traced back at least a generation, and perhaps nowhere was the impact felt more profoundly than in youth programs.
I created this page back in 1996 to try and help fill the information void.