The Importance of Teen Ministry
Sadly, too much of what is packaged as teen ministry is focused on providing the teens with feel good, fun experiences rather than on preaching the gospel and seeking after holiness. Even worse, many of the teen events are closed to adults other than the leaders. Parents are not part of the events.
Rock and Roll music repackaged as "Christian," games and competitions are the norm with today's teen meetings. Speakers who are young, hip and speak and dress like the world are the "cool" thing.
The teen years are unique years in the Christian walk. In the teen years, young people are faced with new temptations and feelings. Their own sinful nature finds a strong ally in the world, and therefore, these years are critical in helping young people avoid folly and instead, pursue life in Christ. Our culture continually seeks to conform the thinking of our young people. Our teens are constantly being pulled by the enticements of the world. Youth will daily face many unique temptations for the first time as high schoolers. In light of these temptations, we need to both preach Jesus Christ and help our young people understand how the gospel informs and directs every aspect of our lives.
Ministering to teens is an evangelistic ministry because the teen years are a time when young people often intentionally choose to walk with the Lord. Therefore, the best thing we can do for our teens is to preach Christ. The starting place for true change is ONLY from a heart that has been changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is from that genuinely converted heart that a teen can live worthy of the gospel.
Speakers should be mature, modest, and experienced in talking to teens. Certainly they should grab the attention of the teens. They should be engaging and interesting. But, they also should be role models.They should demonstrate Christ in their dress, language and actions.
Activities should be fun, but God honoring. Participants should be treated with respect. No pie in the face. No unGodly music and no lewd dancing. Most important, the Word of God MUST be preached without compromise. Inviting the lost to Christ.Challenging the saved to grow in the Spirit.
Your church's youth ministry should not take the place of the parent. Scripture is clear that it is the parents' responsibility to give spiritual teaching to their children.
Ephesians 6:4 states "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Even though your meetings are aimed at teenagers, your goal of parental equipping remains the same because this is in keeping with Scripture. Thus, at any one of our events, parents are encouraged to come and participate with their children. Parental involvement is a high priority because it positions parents to help their children apply the biblical teachings they receive at meetings and events.
Dennis Regling is the director of Piedmont Christian Ministries and Win The Children. He is the author of the book "Children's Ministry Without Compromise." A sought after speaker, he has preached and presented programs in 28 states.More articles and ministry resources are available at the webpage. Dennis can be contacted at 800-858-5402