Isn’t “youth group” just a churchy term for “Christian hangout”?
Maybe that’s where youth ministry has gone wrong.
The staggering percentage of young people who abandon the faith after entering college is a testament to a 45-year failure in youth ministry. Instead of creating a cosseted “hangout” alternative for churchy kids, youth ministry should seek to train the young in the doctrinal tenets of historical Christianity. A young person who knows his doctrine won’t be easily swayed away from it by a college professor who challenges it. A young lady who is trained in her faith is better equipped to share the gospel with a world that is hostile to it. True youth ministry should yield a generation of young people who have examined their faith and are actively involved in sharing it.
The youth at Church On The Hill (6th grade through 12th grade) are discipled, trained, and expected to take spiritual leadership roles in the church….not just sit in a pew and update Facebook. Our young people perform live music, feed the community, teach children—and yes, still have lots of fun. In addition to solid doctrinal teaching, Church On The Hill youth ministry also has a monthly movie night, fun outings and trips throughout the year, lock-ins and participation in Assemblies of God youth camps and Fine Arts Competition. Our youth pastor believes that the kids’ GPA’s are an important ministry, as well, so there is plenty of help with homework when he sees them slip below the threshold.
If our young people graduate from high school and are unable to share their faith with others, we have failed. And failure is not an option at Church On The Hill.