Being a youth pastor in the modern age is an almost unenviable task. Said persons are given the labor of ministering Biblical truth to a group of people who are incessantly incentivized by the world to be infantile, frivolous and profane. Additionally, adolescents are virulently indoctrinated with messaging that seeks to turn their hearts against the God of the Universe and true piety.
I write from experience, approaching almost ten years of attempting to disseminate a message of unfiltered veracity to teenagers and young adults. Other youth pastors who attempt to faithfully adhere to sound doctrine concur.
During the past decade, I’ve found the need to carefully study the Bible and to continually investigate a plethora of doctrines (including secular, quasi-religious and academic), as well as examine pop culture trends so as to help younger congregants persevere in the Lord and reject sinfulness. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Still, in this interval I’ve found that the task of aiding the youth could have been and could be easier if it weren’t for indifferent parents.
My words may appear cynical and resentful. I can assure the reader that my analysis is none of these. Nevertheless, they are observations grounded in fact. If there has been a constant throughout the time I’ve spent addressing our congregation’s youth it is the erroneous attitudes held by many progenitors that are a detriment to their children’s walk with Christ. I’ll name a few.
1. Believing that spiritual upbringing is the main responsibility of the local church, not their own.
The Bible clearly states that it is the parents responsibility to rear their children in the “training and admonition of the Lord”, not the church’s. (Ephesians 6:4) Most assuredly, this fact doesn’t free the local church from its obligation to disseminate sound doctrine. Nonetheless, this commandment shouldn’t give parents any reason to slack concerning their children’s spiritual development and neither does it give them the right to relegate their Biblical responsibility unto the church. If one considers this notion more closely, these irresponsible progenitors are simply seeking an excuse to free themselves from the duty to train themselves and their offspring in matters of the faith.
2. Enabling their children’s dabbling with secularism.
A parent that acquiesces to his children’s worldly-inspired and capricious demands is an undiscriminating and foolish parent. For example, modern children expect to take ownership of a mind-numbing digital device, giving them access to all sorts of content that does not edify but instead robs them of their innocence. Who purchases these apparatuses for them? The parents, of course. Then again, said parents are making a statement when they do so – they buy these devices because it anesthetizes the kids, an electronic drug of sorts. (As I’ve stated before, this does not constitute raising children, it is child abandonment.) Yet, when the time comes for the offspring to learn from the youth pastor about Biblical matters, they cannot pay attention because their minds are fractured and bombarded with inanity due to the digital zombie-ism that has affected the modern world.
But not to worry. When the youth display irreverence by using their smartphones during a church meeting, blame the youth pastor for being too boring! If plenty of parents complain, that youth ministry will eventually display all the marks of a seeker-friendly church, including a talking-head youth pastor that is more hipster fashionista, sentimentalist motivational speaker than expositor of Biblical truth.
3. Trusting the secular establishment over the Bible and divine institutions.
If I were given a nickel for every instance I’ve seen parents heed the advice dispensed to them by public school employees, psychologists and other secular entities over the Biblical counsel I’d be as rich as Warren Buffett by now. By now it should be patently evident that those who submit their children to secular norms are relegating them to spiritual failure, as proven by both statistical and plenty of anecdotal evidence. Yet this doesn’t seem to move many parents to suspect any of these entities or their lackeys of maliciousness. Instead, they recalcitrantly defend the romanticized secular establishment’s intentions and implicitly cast aspersions on the Biblical model.
It is a disturbing thing to hear parents say that they are willing to take the risks associated with turning over their children to a degenerate system in the face of compelling evidence that screams that they should do the contrary.
Yet, remember dear reader, good parents are expected, for example, to drug their children because they are too hyper and eventually send them to college in order to be indoctrinated…apologies. I meant, “help alleviate their children’s ADHD” and get an “education” respectively. I continue to forget that linguistic proscription plays a role in keeping a feeble populace controlled.
To end, I’ll ask an overarching question: If the worldly model continues to accumulate a massive body count, why is it that parents who profess Christianity insist on following the secular model of “raising kids” instead of rejecting it outright?