Are youth groups biblical?

There is debate in some Christian circles about the perception of the lack of a biblical basis for youth ministry. Some are blaming youth work for the much-reported departure of young adults from church after high school. I often hear it said that “youth ministry is not mentioned in Scripture. Youth ministry doesn't exist for teenage discipleship.

The biblical purpose of youth ministry is to make adult disciples whose faith was rooted in adolescence. Whether they are church children or openly opposed to religion, faithful youth workers serve with a commitment to announce the good news of Jesus Christ to teenagers. I think youth ministry is vital for several reasons, but I want you to consider today the reciprocal aspect of youth ministry. My own practical definition of the purpose and goal of youth ministry is to “integrate young people into the body and mission of Jesus Christ.

So, the reality for you and me, is youth ministry biblical? Yes, because reaching all people through Christ is biblical. As for the development of youth ministry in the United States, I highly recommend Thomas Bergler's book The Juvenilization of American Christianity. While the book focuses on an exegetical, historical and theological basis for youth ministry, this excerpt from the epilogue aims to summarize the practical implications for parents, youth workers, and church leaders. Unless your Youth Group is made up of only a handful of children from the Kingdom, it is likely to be full of “bad company”.

As one writer formalized, the biblical mandate for youth ministry should “begin religious instruction in the family home as spiritual practices, add knowledge through the broader faith community, and provide guidance from key spiritual leaders for specific practices and duties. Mike Kipp is an associate professor of youth and family ministry at Northwestern Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. Second, efforts to reach the young generation have the potential to push the church to remarry spiritual concerns and social action. Please connect young people in the life of your church and have a reciprocal youth ministry that serves the other people in the church that serves young people.

This book focuses heavily on and explores the findings of the National Study of Youth and Religion, completed by Christian Smith and Lisa Pearce. I'm here to tell you that if you regularly practice modern things that are absent and opposed to the Bible, such as youth ministry, then you are not a “biblical Christian.”.