The Best Argument Against Youth Work? image

The Best Argument Against Youth Work?

Whether we agree with Michael Horton or not, we could all do with thinking seriously about his challenge here (from his excellent book Ordinary):

Years ago, the pastor typically taught the youth catechism, preparing them to profess their faith publicly as communicant members. The shift from catechism classes to Sunday school, and then to the youth group, tended to distance believers from the church at precisely the moment that they were supposed to take that next step of maturity. And why do we think that young people need to hang out with other young people, led by a guy who is only a little older? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have youth pastors. But I am questioning the factors that have gone into this transition form the apostolic model (older teaching younger, as in Titus 2:4) to one that is more culturally driven.

What do such transitions say about what we value? Where did we get the idea that old folks need to be given a “kid-free” environment with other “golden oldies”, and that men’s groups and women’s groups are more meaningful than the communion of saints? ... Are we dividing what God has joined together? Is “community” for us more contractual than covenantal, determined more by social locations other than Jesus Christ?

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