Anyway, it made me remember one night when we were having a “fun night” when the college group met in the high school room and I was overcome with physical disgust at the grotesque injustice of a church using tithing funds to purchase what is probably well over $50,000 of video games and electronic devices. I dont have the energy to type right now what it looked like and how I felt, but I will probably write the story soon because it really affected me (i walked out of the church that night never to go back again). But anyway, it made me realize what an injustice it is that some faithful people struggle to give 10% or more or less to their churches and make big sacrifices fearing God’s holy wrath, and the church spends it on useless, worldly, mind-numbing stuff to attract kids and play on their love of video games.
What also disgusts me about this is that I am SURE the less sporty, less “cool” kids get left WAY behind in this group–not to mention the girls who arent as mesmorized with video games and skateboarding…
Having been in youth ministry for years, I agree that some of what I did was outright manipulation at best and a subtle form of child abuse at worst.
I have written how the church needs to trust young adults to lead it if it wants to remain relevant… however, I no longer think that the training ground for this should be youth ministry. We have it all backwards. We let the young lead the young and this is where young pastors develop this sense of ego and entitlement that they bring with them into “big church”. It’s a psycho-social phenomenon that needs to be studied. I think it’s both harmful to the students and to those young leaders that lead them.
People complain that I am long on observations and short on suggestions. So here’s one: If your church has a youth pastor under the age of 30, promote them immediately into either adult ministry or children’s ministry. Then, go out and hire a 30-something youth pastor (preferably a woman), and be prepared to pay them well so they will stick around.
And if all of that sounds too hard, just disband your youth ministry all together. Chances are, the one you have right now is pretty ineffective anyway.