My Response to: Is ‘Youth Ministry’ Biblical?


A very good friend of mine Joseph Iregbu wrote a blog article recently that raised a very important question mark on the role of youth ministries.

I must say that his view on the basis of youth ministry is very insightful, I am sure many of his readers would not have considered this view. I do agree the point the article makes that the church is not ‘solely‘ responsible for the spiritual development of children and youth; I also agree that within the pages of scriptures there is no Biblical model for this Ministry.

But I strongly believe that the Gospel is for all people, both young and old, the legacy that Christ left to the Church, is to ‘go and preach the Gospel, they that believe will be saved, and those that do not believe are damned’ (John 3:18). For this reason I believe that the Church has a part to play and in some circumstances a huge part. To think otherwise means that we do not fully understand the role of the Church in our own lives and in the life of our family.

The statement that Joseph makes; “The Church keeps missing the trick- youth Church can’t raise your Children. Parents must. That’s God plan…” is correct in some parts, but also gives the notion that all parents are born again. How can a parent bring up a ‘child in the way of the Lord’ when the parent (s) themselves don’t know the way of the Lord. This is why I believe that the Church has a significant role to play.

But ultimately the question I’d like to pose is this: Why have ministry for the youth in the first place?  

I believe that the modern church today does not pay enough attention to the Children and young people, and for that reason many young people today are increasingly drifting away from the faith.

In the early Church scripture records of the Grecian widows, who put their case forward to the leaders, that they are being neglected in the daily ministration (Acts 6:1-3). What is striking here is that their complaint was that they where not being looked after with regards to the distribution of Food.

Similarly I believe that today many young people are screaming at being spiritually neglected, and thus spiritually malnourished.  Like the early Church leaders the church today must move with urgency and take action, otherwise there will “…arise another generation which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel’ (Judges 2:10).

The complaint of the widows in Acts chapter 6 not only moved the church leaders into action, but as a result raised leaders who where “…of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom” I believe that this is what is lacking in many youth ministries today. If the youth ministry is to be effective it’s leaders must understand the priority of being filled with the Holy Ghost and wisdom, only then will we realise the impact of youth ministry.



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2 responses to “My Response to: Is ‘Youth Ministry’ Biblical?

  1. Awesome response, Jide! But you know, your view is what we’ve always supported and live by. As church leaders, we know the church has a significant role to play in the development of ANY christian, not just young people. I live by that. But my tension is more about a subtle perception that has crept into the church and into the hearts of parents. I take your point that not every parent is born again. But I feel like this tension in my heart cannot be ignored. It’s important that we become brutally honest with ourselves. Have we (the church) dedicated as much time as we do with young people, educating parents and teaching them, to ensure we all enforce the same message? And this can happen irrespective of a parent’s spiritual situation. I feel a sense that if youth leaders can appreciate the root of their ministry, they will be better equipped to serve in it.

  2. And to add another token, you wrote: “How can a parent bring up a ‘child in the way of the Lord’ when the parent (s) themselves don’t know the way of the Lord. This is why I believe that the Church has a significant role to play.”

    This, I believe, is where my point about the church focusing on parenting also comes to light. I live and breathe young people ministry, but the corporate church need to do more to empower and teach parents to lead in home parenting and we will affirm their message in youth groups. That’s the core of my tension.

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