Saturday, June 7, 2008

Children Missing From Church

Do you remember when your church had young people who actually attended the services? We used to see them. They all sat together down in the front sections. We knew their names. They were polite and they knew how to carry on an intelligent conversation. Where did they all go?

There has been a paradigm shift in most churches regarding youth ministries. About twenty years ago, influenced by Youth Specialties (a popular resource for youth ministry), youth workers began to isolate young people in their own cultural environments in order to be more relatable. I think that was a stupid mistake. Today, Youth Specialties is moving in more dangerous directions toward mysticism and spiritual formation. Ironically, this generation has difficulty relating to adults at all. I really hope church leaders wake up on this before too many more generations are severely damaged by this inane experiment.

The following excerpts are from a post titled, Children Missing From Church.

Does anyone else find it amazing to what lengths a well-meaning children's church coordinator will go to, to try and entice your children into the children's programing?

We wish our church offered a Sunday school hour but all their children's programs run during service so we keep our children with us.

One is told that children will never get anything out of the adult service. Who came up with this notion? My children sit and listen to Wind in the Willows and Charles Dickens. Why in the world would they be unable to understand the pastor's sermon? Sure, they will miss some of the application but they are building a foundation of vocabulary and knowledge for future use. They are also building the habit of corporate worship.

I have never seen a Jr. or Sr. High student in our church service. As far as I can tell they have their own church service. I just don't understand it. The problem as I see it is that these students become adults and they NEVER join the adult service. They are staying for longer and longer periods of time in the Sr. High programs, then forming their own young adult programs, then going back to Sr. High to help lead (never having had any type of mature discipleship) or quitting church altogether. Is it any wonder we have a generation of young adults who are spiritually immature and doctrinally shallow? I am convinced we need to ditch all that stuff and simply worship together.

Why do we think it is better to split everyone up? Why do we discount the importance of the older generation's influence on the younger and vice versa? I'll never forget that little old lady who always brought me a banana or some piece of fruit each week when my Dad was preaching in a tiny little church on Sunday afternoons. She enriched my life and I would have that same experience for my children even if I have to fend off passionate well-meaning children's church leaders in order to make it happen.

posted by DAISY

Daisy is an amazing, young, Christian, stay-at-home-mother of two. She and her husband are both professional educators who are smart enough to keep their children far away from the public institutions of godless, secular humanism. She home schools and helps many others to do the same. She is a home-economist and nutritionist. And she has a degree in theology. Besides all that, she is an intelligent conservative.

Her blog, Lesser Road Academy, is full of useful information about faith, family life, home schooling, and nutrition. I am adding it to my list of favorites.


Daisy said...

Wow, I'm embarrassed. Talk about pressure. LOL. I'll have to decide whether you are using some of that sarcastic wit or not. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I have long been concerned about the fact that the children and young people are not in the church services. This article points out something I had not thought of before - the fact that the church is alienating those who are allegedly the future leaders of the church by teaching them that corporate worship is not important. The church as we know it is in peril because of its own efforts to be "relevant" and to "meet people's needs."

Very few young people today seem to be interested in being pastors or missionaries, but quite a few of them want to be "worship leaders." We need far fewer of these "worship leaders" and far more who want to study God's Word so they can preach and teach it.

Daisy said...

Excellent point, Anonymous! I totally agree.