Is Youth Ministry Biblical?
welcome to real Christianity a weekly show designed to help Christians know their Bible defend their faith and truly understand what it means to follow Jesus the premise is simple the culture is getting louder the church is getting flash ear but few pastors are teaching on how to live a Biblical life my name is Dale Partridge along with my incredible wife Veronica join us as we start an important conversation about what it really means to be a Christian
 welcome to real Christianity today we are talking about is youth ministry biblical and guys today I'm doing the show solo again I promise it's not our intention that Veronica is missing from these episodes but she got sick and she wasn't able to record today so I'm going to do this show so low and they will get back on track together big conversation around youth ministry important discussion think a lot of people asks this question what do you think about use Ministry so we're going to dive into that in a second if it's your first time listen to the show we are excited to have you here if your regular listen or we love that you would relieve a review I just go to iTunes and I have to do is just tap the Stars you don't need to write anything but those reviews really do help the exposure of the show guys also if you haven't checked out ultimate marriage.com or 6-week marriage program and we have so many incredible couples that are establishing a Biblical marriage thanks to that program
 it's just been so helpful or somebody couples the testimonies are powerful check that out of their six-week married to Mentor program but let's start this conversation about youth ministry and I'm going to talk a little bit from my just experienced an issue Chanel church and what I've seen and what I've read the Bible and then kind of contrast the two so you know coming up this Sunday you guys have seen this picture that I'm going to paint right here there's these Christian families to park their cars they get the kids out of the car and pack of strollers drop all the stuff and start walking towards the church building but then something just kind of strange actually starts to happen almost kind of like there's a fork in the road I guess depending on the age of the kids here but the kids go to the right and the adults going to go to the left
 and most parents I think you're oblivious to the kind of spiritual reality of what's happening right here this detour and something being taught to these children and these adults that that happens every every every Sunday when this occurs right to the children it's kind of this indoctrinated mean Journey that tells them something and it tells them three things one it says my church is here and my parents churches there it says my church is fun and my parents church is boring and tell them my church leader is my pastor and not my father rights as a couple messages that are being kind of sent without even realizing them but I actually do want to talk about as much about the kids as how it really the parents issues today and so that the parents also get some subliminal messages that are a part of this kind of sun
 my morning ritual what it says to them is my children aren't ready for quote real church yet I'm not qualified to teach and disciple my children toward a Biblical understanding it's not my or something mine but the church's responsibility to develop the child's my child is spiritual growth I unlike my youth pastor incapable of relating to an understanding the spiritual journey of my child like these are some of the the messages that are being sent another one that you acceptable for me to not grow in my role as the primary spiritual teacher for my child because the church is going to do it for me right so there's a lot of things that are being taught in this going to fork in the road divide when it happens over and
 over and over every single Sunday and you know if I can be frank I think the church is really embrace the system where parents can Outsource their responsibility for the spiritual leadership of their children to the youth pastor to the youth program to the youth camp but again you know what what if the modern Sunday school was more harmful than it was helpful for the spiritual development of your child you know what is this kind of cultural Church tradition really had nothing to do with the Bible and another question. What if the Bible's instruction for teaching your children spiritual stuff right was actually in conflict with what is being practice at most churches now again I'm not saying that use Ministries unbiblical but I am saying that it's extra biblical and there isn't one lick of scripture that talks about parents sending
 their children to someone else to be a disciple and if again if we just use the Bible as our blueprint to establish the practices at a local church we we probably wouldn't end up with what most of us do today so as Believers we kind of become enamored of like this good intention let's in a date and renovate great ideas for quote doing church and and you know the only questions would have been asked by Church leadership is how can we do this better the question like bigger and better but when it comes to extra biblical stuff I think we need to start asking the question should we be doing this at all
 you know just because we can do something doesn't mean we should do something and I'm going to send other one just because something seems smart doesn't mean it's right or or biblical you know but again you too much the same way that we expect a door to have a doorknob we absolutely expect Church to have a youth program and you can ask any kind of church shopping couple at the top of their list you know or or at least the top three points clear of their list they're looking for is this gold foiled youth ministry or Sunday score midweek youth group over or you know we can use programs are children's church or young adults you know whatever you know they want to call him it'd be very weird if interested to have those things you know because they're just so critical for the modern church today
 but the big question is how did something that isn't found in the Bible become so Central to what the church does it so I'm going to give you guys a little I guess historical Journey we're going to go back to 1760 to 1840 we're going to go back to the Industrial Revolution Great Britain and this is actually the birth era in the birthplace of the now Universal Sunday school and this time you had lots of homeless
 poor children or children of the poor you know again mostly orphans at the time they provided the cheapest labor that could be found in the factories and so they started exploiting these children the industry did and you can actually read about this is like Charles Dickens write Oliver Twist at David Copperfield they actually cover this I guess taking advantage of these orphans and the immorality of exploding exploding exploiting these kids it's just vile and it actually really frustrated the Christian philanthropist of the day and they try to figure out what needs to be done and the solving of that problem was the birth of the Sunday School move it was really a missionary movement that was really narrow down to three initiatives these show
 I need the gospel they needed a moral education and they needed the ability to read that was easier said than done because in 1802 there was the factories Act of 1804 or 1844 that this Gap right there the only restriction to child labor at the time was it they could they couldn't work more than six days a week and 12 hours a day and as a result Sunday was the only available day to instruct them in spiritual and moral matters until you have this need to write which is thousands of illiterate homeless and moral or and the answer was for the missionaries of the day was the Gospel moral education and instruction in reading by learning how to read the King James Bible on Sunday and so Sunday school was literally a school it was a it was a place where it literate poor children would be educated and evangelize through
 reading of the Bible and so the creation of Sunday school was again just a missionary effort to evangelize the working-class Orphans of London now within a few decades the missionary movement became it's pretty fascinating we don't time to go into it but really became like the modus operandi generally every Church in the developing West and not just for the less fortunate or the orphan who did have parents to teach them these things but like every Christian family that existed and I was reading some stuff from j.c. Ryle who's the 19th century Pastor Rider you guys have heard me talk about him on the show before I really loved his books and he actually has a great quote he says experience supplies painful proof that Traditions once called into being our first called useful
 then they become necessary at last they are too often made idols and all must bow down to them or be punished I think we can almost look at youth ministry like that it was a useful thing then it somehow become a necessary thing now it's become like a protected Idol of the church and anybody that wants to tear it down or question its existence or anything is going to be punished or or yelled at and so again youth ministry isn't unbiblical it's just extra biblical and you know I also want to say that
 I'm not anti youth ministry in terms of its existence in some formats but we'll get to that later
 a deal Partridge here we hope this podcast been a blessing to your walk with God for those that don't know real Christianity is an audio ministry under our nonprofit relearn church.org I'm telling you this because we're listener-supported podcast it takes a small team a serious amount of equipment and several hours per week to keep the show going I share this because Veronica and I want to grow the reach of the show so that it might help even more Christians mature and their understanding of God's word so if you're a regular listener to this podcast would you consider supporting us in this ministry effort we're not asking for much maybe $10 $20 or $25 per month I promise you that your support will help us continue to get God's truth out to strengthen the body of Christ and the further the gospel if you feel led to make a donation simply go to relearn Church. Org forward slash donate again that's relearn Church. Org forward slash donate thank you so much for your consideration
 but I do think that youth ministry is actually at least the way that we see it here in the west is actually at odds with how the Bible calls parents to disciple their kids so I want to talk about what what is the Bible say about this and first who does the bible identify as a responsible party for teaching children and young people about God is it just you know a generous and willing Sunday school person who pass a background check or some unmarried 20-something who is really cool looking as great haircut and you know holes in his jeans or is it someone that can quote relate with today's youth did the Bible have anything to say about this and so we're going to just kind of pull way back to the old testament which I think is a really great place to start working to look at Deuteronomy 6:5 through 7 if your parent you need to know this verse
 this is God speaking his mind on how a family is to learn the principles practices and moral laws of his kingdom and I'm going to redo it says quote you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your strength and these words which I command you today shall be in your heart you shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house when you walk by the way when you lie down and when you rise up okay so this is first speaking to the parent it's telling them to be diligent this is this is a work of turning their children to happen over and over again think of sharpening a grinding and friction constantly over and over and over again and again I think that this is a parent's most important work
 it's not anything else but this the text is saying that the spiritual training needs to be done everywhere all the time
 and it and that was that was then I mean you know we're going into a world that's far more hostile than the one that we grew up in
 and this is this is something that you know we can also think that parents can't do this to their parents can do this it's been so much time and sports it's been so much time and hobbies so much time in movies and watching TV they spend so much time doing homework in school with their kids actually did a post you guys might have seen it I don't know maybe a year ago about the idea that you know the chances of your child becoming you know famous are like one and so many hundred thousands you know the chances of you know your your kids becoming you know certain level of athlete you do you know a certain level of professional athlete
 the chance of your child becoming you know I musician or or becoming a celebrity you know our are so rare right but the chance of standing before Jesus Christ is a hundred percent and there's a guy that kind of wrote the original on this post is name is Dustin Ben you can find them on on Instagram and Twitter but he kind of really open up this concept I continued on this and I wrote you know parents what I really want you to figure out his or are you spending as much time preparing your child for what will happen as you are for what
 likely won't happen we spent a lot of times investing kids on sports or on some sort of training or Worse instead of preparation for something but again those are like maybes we're standing before Jesus Christ is it absolutely like this is a fact and the spiritual training again that we received his children is not sufficient for the world that they're about to inherit okay I mean I just want to say like you think about the millions of Muslim parents in the Middle East I do if you looked into this but they're putting their children to like 40 plus hours a week of training in the Quran
 encryption in a parents expect it you know 50 minutes of coloring Noah's Ark on Sunday is going to be a sufficient thing for them to you know how to deal with all that you know ridiculous things that they're growing up in you know when I was a little kid I didn't have to think about which bathroom at user which gender I was or worried about my 4th grade teacher showing me how to masturbate okay that there's there's a lot going on here and again I'm not saying this isn't necessarily A numbers game it's an intention ality game
 you know I'm that the next words were going to talk about it a fusions 6/4 is raised up its in you fathers don't provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
 Proverbs says train up a child in the way he should go and when he gets older he will not depart from it I mean father's if you're listening here are you training your children like are you not just disciplining reactive distant spiritually training them are you training them in the word of God
 the battle for your child's heart in this world is fierce man and I'll tell you what the enemy's Playing for Keeps the preparation for sports and music and hobbies up that's all good but again just make sure that these Pursuits Never overshadow Their preparation for eternity
 okay it is again scripturally speaking the father's right it's clear that the God intends for the parent that explicitly the father's to take direct an act of responsibility and teaching the children about God now obviously that's also the moms too but I'm just saying is the scripture happens to say fathers there
 now are there exceptions course we live in a simple Society with fractured families and divorces and and single mom and parents the kids to have that we need to go somewhere that with parents who aren't saved in orphans and so we we do have this stuff that there is a need for youth programs is what I'm saying the standard however like the norm according to the Bible is that God has given the primary responsibility of teaching children about him to that guy called Dad
 I'm not to the K through 12 Sunday school program and not the cool single youth leader a few years older than high school kids okay what whether or not its intended
 the typical church I would say strongly discourages parents from discipling their own children by creating these endless programs that are designed for them so that someone else can disciple their children
 and again you know any church that doesn't regularly remind dads and moms that the theological and moral education their children is the responsibility that God placed directly on them not on the church
 is it going to teaching and encouraging a lifestyle and a culture that's contract Bible it is at odds with it's not his extra biblical at odds with it and so I wanted the disk for 2nd which is a take a moment and want you to ask yourself
 is your current Church Gathering like are you regularly encouraged to be the Principal teacher and spiritual guide of your children
 are you challenged to embrace the responsibility of imparting the knowledge of God to your children does the pastor admonish the congregation to understand God will hold you as a parent accountable for how you have led your family and how you have taught and modeled the truth of scripture in your home
 and sadly most you guys are probably an answer no to that question
 because instead they're actually just encouraging you to go send your children somewhere else and again that's that's not that's not what the Bible would tell you
 and so the extra biblical approach of outsourced discipleship is is is not right now are there positive results from church youth programs absolutely I went to church youth program when I was a kid yeah great stuff but again it's not it's not the norm
 it is a tragic day when Christian parents I'm talking Christian parents and I'm talking anybody else if you're a Christian parent when Christian parents are so ill-equipped so poorly taught so badly lead that they have to rely on others to do what the Bible has directly stated
 for them to do as Mom and Dad
 and so a church
 jet sled by mature biblical leadership is going to teach moms and dads how to walk in the responsibility that God has given them and leading their family and not constantly encourage them to Outsource
 the other children or are you serve the father's role in the mother's role and responsibilities by making the discipleship of the children unnecessary because we just offered all these things that you get to do because you're not qualified and and these other people are so much more qualified so much more train again it's just don't buy it. That's not in scripture it's your responsibility you should be at a church that encourages that and you should bring your kid if they're noisy you do you get to do you get to train them at home to learn how to sit quietly in church next to you
 take them back into the meeting have them sit with you I know lots of families that work really hard to make sure that they can keep their kids next to them at church again I just would be so hesitant to Outsource like we would never do that personally
 and so are you caught in a extra extra biblical Church culture that sidelines
 your dad and mom or are you being encouraged to be a warrior fit strength and courage to enter into this battle that every pair of faces which is discipling your children to know God and His truths it so it's not a not a mass of conversation I want to just do that as a quick encouragement just at least put a little question in your heart and mind about is youth ministry biblical again I'm not saying that it's we should just get rid of them all I'm just saying is if your Christian parents and your costly not switching your kids you know I just I don't do that in scripture I think it's your responsibility and I think you'll find that when you train your children diligently I'm talking to talk about God every single day as often as you possibly can with them
 that they will find and you will find
 youth ministry is unnecessary
 especially if this run to my other children who have parents that are doing the same thing it's great for kids get together and that's what to become has become a social club has nothing to even do with you know you're going to go here message about God but it's really about me hanging out with all my friends and then again you know if that's what you're interested than your it's your calls A parent but just evaluate you training your children and I'll leave you guys with that there's a really great documentary that you should watch it's free to watch on YouTube it's called divided it was made like 15 years ago it's actually really well done on this topic is youth ministry biblical and they make a very compelling case of why we should be skeptical about it and why interviews all these youth pastors that actually stepped down from their position once they realized what the Bible is truly
 what about this matter that they were actually walking into a roll and doing something that they were taking the authority of the father and the mother in the family it's a really powerful video that's divided you can watch that on YouTube all link that in the show notes for this episode again thanks guys for taking a listen again if you guys could leave a review be really helpful ultimate marriage.com we're talkin about that in the beginning if you want to join for a six-week marriage Mentor program man we would absolutely love to have you on that note we will see you guys next week and Veronica will hopefully be back take care guys
 hey Dale Partridge here I recently heard a disturbing statistic only 11% of Christians have read the entire Bible now we can't wonder why the church is being influenced by the culture more than the culture is being influenced by the church the vast majority of Christians don't know God's word because they've never read it we cannot live out what we do not understand so Veronica and I want to challenge you right now to read the Bible in one year we put together a basic 365-day reading plan that'll take you no longer than 20 minutes per day and you can download it for free at relearn church.org Bible again that's relearn Church. Org forward slash Bible
 thank you for joining us on this episode of real Christianity real Christianity is an audio Ministry of relearn church.org if you'd like more information on how to live out a Biblical life relearn Church. We're closer parody of Articles podcast sermons and videos to support your journey real Christianity is 100% listener-supported Ministry and if you'd like to support our efforts simply click to donate tab at relearn church.org you can also connect with both Veronica and I on Instagram Facebook and Twitter for daily lessons and Bible teachings thank you for being with us today we hope to see you next Wednesday for another episode of real Christianity