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Attractive Youth Ministries

Despite not having too much experience, I’ve quickly grown tired of attractive youth ministry. These ministries can eat up huge chunks of the budget, their pastors and leaders are under immense pressure, and at times their satisfaction in Jesus varies with the number of teenagers that shows up on a given Wednesday night. And yes I include myself in there, because I have heard of it in so many local churches and I have seen it in my church, to a certain degree.

What I mean by attractive youth ministries is namely, the videos, skits, games, the 30 minute worship time without any solid prayer, the watered down 20 minute message, and the non respectful atmosphere that we create in order to be inviting to the younger generation.


Could it be that we are missing the point? Could it be that we became so focused on being so relevant that we might have forgotten our goal? If you ask me, I’d say, yes we are missing the point and yes we have forgotten our goal. I believe our goal with youth ministries, as we see it in the bible, is discipleship.

Statistically speaking 60%-80% of our youth will not attend church as they hit their twenties. Could it be that our idea of discipleship, being relevant but not nurturing, brought this epidemic upon the church? Do we even know what discipleship means? Do we even know what it takes to make disciples?

I am all in for being relevant, yes let’s use the videos, yes let’s use the games and skits, but the moment you start to neglect the most important elements that keep you alive, spiritually speaking, it is the moment you become sick. No matter how good the book that you’re reading is, how much of an “ice breaker” the game that you’re playing is,  how relevant the skit is,  how trendy and cool you dress, no matter how efficient technology is, if you don’t have the right kind of food, if you’re feeding them junk food, they’re going to die of malnutrition.

So what if they are not attracted and leave right away? At least you can use the money you would have spent on the attractive amusement park, or your big budget movie for a better purpose. Most importantly you wouldn’t be compromising and you would be faithful to God and to the Word.

Preaching the Word

Jesus’ ministry included feeding the hungry, healing the sick, loving the outcast, and befriending the sinner. But we must never forget that Jesus’ ministry began with preaching. Thus, preaching is the first priority of ministry that leads God’s mission, which is accompanied by various other ministries that support, supplement, and sustain the preaching of God’s Word in truth with passion. Preaching the Word should be our primary source in presenting Jesus. I am not saying that videos, games, skits, etc are not useful or cannot be used to display or present Christ and the normal Christian life. What I’m saying is that all of these things are a way through which we convey, express, present and display the truth. If we exclude preaching the Word as a primary source in displaying Christ in our ecclesiastical youth ministry context or in any church context for that matter, we have a huge problem.

So I guess this is what I’m trying to say; we need to find a balance between understanding that our primary source is the spoken Word (preaching), and between being relevant and updated. If you are not sure that you have that balance, I would even recommend you chip away from your relevance rather than taking away from our primary source, namely the preaching of the Word.

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