The Theology of Youth Ministry

The Theology of Youth Ministry

A Study of Biblical Youth Ministry and Its Importance to the Present Day

In the 1960s and 1970s, the youth pastor position was THE most sought-after career job by local churches. The success of para-church youth ministries, in reaching and discipling the teenage culture, finally forced the church to see their mistake in ignoring this new phenomenon called "teenagers...

About the Book

In the 1960s and 1970s, the youth pastor position was THE most sought-after career job by local churches. The success of para-church youth ministries, in reaching and discipling the teenage culture, finally forced the church to see their mistake in ignoring this new phenomenon called “teenagers” and thus churches and denominations jumped on the bandwagon of reaching this young generation. And, wow… it worked!

Consider that in 1965 there were NO conservative evangelical schools offering a full degree in youth ministry to TODAY when we have more than 250 Christian institutions that offer a BA, MA, MDiv., DMin., and even a Ph.D. in youth or youth and family ministry. Regrettably, today (21st century) in the U.S., the position of a full-time theologically trained youth pastor is being criticized and maligned as allegedly being “past its day” and “obsolete.” The fact is this is NOT true! On the contrary, I would suggest what SHOULD be “past its day” and “obsolete” is much of today’s BAD pastor-led local church youth ministry.

Namely, that being done by many current-day “youth pastors” who are; liberal/progressive theologically, social-justice driven, entertainment-oriented, Biblically anemic, evangelism/discipleship starved, politically correct, gender/sexual identity issue confused, and who lower the bar for ministry involvement by youth and also buy into the “everything small” and “less is better” mentality. My experience is that many evangelical parents of teens today are literally CRYING about the fact that their children are not being given the same wonderful opportunities they themselves had while participating in a theologically solid, family-balanced, and aggressively evangelistic youth ministry led by a youth pastor who raised rather than lowered the “bar” of challenge and expectations for the youth. Don’t get me wrong, there are still many good youth pastors “out there” doing great work, but I am afraid their “kind” is sadly dwindling in numbers.

To be relevant, theology must be integrated into culture. While a careful examination of the implications of the theology of youth is beyond the scope of this paper, some suggestions are in order.

Details
Authors: ,
Genres: Theology, Youth Ministry
Tag: For Pastors and Leaders
Format: PDF
Length: Short article, 13 pgs.