“youth group isn’t everything or shoot most of us can’t stay at a church beyond 2 years….”

joepuentes —  November 18, 2011 — 5 Comments

Youth group isn’t everything… I read something the other day that has me thinking a lot. I read a tweet that remarked about how a student could’t go to youth group because the student was grounded. I don’t know why or the reason for youth group being taken out of the equation, but it is irrelevant for what I am writing about.

I’m not ragging on the person who posted it on twitter, because I have said it myself many times in the past and I know many others who have said the same thing. I have felt the same frustration as the person who posted the tweet. What I am questioning is the thought pattern that myself and others have about the extreme importance of youth group verses the discipline of parents (I must say that the person who posted the tweet was no way implicating this). What I mean is that I have felt many times that if the student only came to youth group more they wouldn’t be a problem at home or at school. I have thought that the program, the youth coaches, and myself are the ones who can disciple the student away from their moral degradation. What they need more of is Jesus and we are the ones to give it to them (Moralistic therapeutic deism). What the student really needs is to model Jesus to their parents or “honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 19:19…

Seriously, since when did youth group and youth ministry programing become the only mechanism that students get discipled? I know I am probably going to piss off many of my professional youth ministry colleagues with this post, but the reality is we and our programs are not the center of discipleship for our students; the parents are, and if they are not we need to figure out a way to get them there. Ultimately, the parents will be the ones involved in the students life for the long haul, not us. Shoot most of us can’t stay at a church beyond 2 years. Youth group isn’t everything… Youth ministry needs to be holistic.

SO what if a student is grounded from youth group! It’s not like they are going miss out on being at church, because they are the church. Hey look at it this way; when this happens, we add to the adolescent penchant for rebellion and this will make them want to come back from more…

Heck, I’ve even grounded my own teenagers from youth group, and I am the youth pastor.

5 responses to “youth group isn’t everything or shoot most of us can’t stay at a church beyond 2 years….”

  1. 

    Good thoughts. It still bugs me when kids get grounded from youth group, but we can’t forget that, like you say, “youth group isn’t everything”. If it is, we’re setting our students up to have a really rough transition when they graduate.

    • 

      Hey Mike, thanks for the comment. I agree with your thoughts. Transition from youth ministry to beyond was the genesis of this blog post.

  2. 

    Joe that is so eloquently spoken.. it takes a village to raise morally grounded spiritually balanced teens who love the Lord. The parents may be the mayor but the city council :) has input that matters greatly in the development of a teen… (thats youth group and its leaders), the support of the citizens further influences the teen. God bless you Joe!!!

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