from Dr. David Peacock
Today we hear far too many stories of tragedies that have occurred in churches as a result of poorly planned and even more poorly operated youth ministries. Sometimes we treat our youth as guinea pigs by trying anything and everything in an attempt to stimulate interest or to keep them coming. Generally speaking, we have no boundaries, no idea of what success is sup- posed to be, and no real idea of what it is that we are trying to achieve. This approach has led to an entertainment mentality, and not to ministering.
While I am sure that no one interested in this book would desire to misguide anyone of whom he has been given the honor of being in charge, nevertheless the pressure to create success often leads to being entrapped by these “modern methods.” So often we forget not only the honor and privilege of being allowed to pastor, teach, or preach to others, but we also forget the grave responsibility that comes with it. …
Excerpts from Playing Games with God: How to Avoid Shallow Youth Ministries and Find a Biblical Group for Your Kids. Print version is available here.
Just like all schools are not the same, all youth groups are not the same.
But how can parents know that their kids are going to a good, Biblical youth ministry? And what makes a group “Biblical”? In “Playing Games with God,” Sam Magdalein lays out a simple framework that parents can use when searching for and examining a youth group for their teens.
But what about modern youth ministries? Parents may have a feeling that something is wrong in these churches, but can’t quite put their finger on the problem. Sam includes a thorough examination of the foundations, philosophies, drivers, and everyday practices of modern youth groups. Using numerous quotes from youth ministry seminary textbooks, lessons plans from youth ministry conferences, ministry resource books, and articles, you’ll read in their own words what modern churches are actually doing with our kids. …
The Long View — Spiritual, Not Physical — Magnifying God, Not Kids — Church, Not Youth Group — A Biblical Group, Not a Perfect Group — God-Called Preacher — The Temptation to Leave — Harmony between Youth Pastor and Pastor — Getting Kids Interested — Fighting the Good Fight
6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Many exasperated parents read this verse and object, “But I trained up my kids properly, why didn’t they turn out right?” The answer is twofold. First, we must understand that this proverb is not a promise; it is a principle. A promise of God is something that will come to pass no matter what. Examples of promises in the Bible include, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” and, “My God shall supply all your need…” There are no exceptions to promises. …