The first question of youth ministry is one of theological foundation. I am convinced that the particular model of ministry that a church uses is secondary to the theological foundation on which the model is built.
God included many prayers in the Bible to help His people learn how to pray. One of the most instructive prayers is tucked away in the book of 2 Chronicles. Perhaps you share my inclination to skim over it quickly. If so, my prayer is that The Prayer of Jehoshaphat (not to be confused with Bruce Wilkinson’s book, The Prayer of Jabez) will not only strengthen your prayer life but also your conviction that all Scripture is indeed profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.
The great football coach, Weeb Eubank, had a tradition at the beginning of every season. He would take all the new and seasoned players, sit them down, and then begin his lecture. He would take a football, stick it in their faces, and say to them, “Gentlemen, this is a football! Get to know it all over again.” He would go on to explain that unless they remembered the basics of the game of football, they could not win.
The same is true of the church. Unless we keep going back to the basics of who we are and what we believe, we will not continue to grow in the truth, for the truth starts with the basics.
Understanding the different generations is a part of understanding our world. You cannot read a book like Soul Searching (Christian Smith) or After the Baby Boomers (Wuthnow) and conclude that we can ignore what they are saying. Wuthnow explains what is happening as we experience in America an estimated six million less churchgoers today than in the past
The subject of the church has been on our hearts lately for several reasons. It appears that for some, the church is not viewed as the bride of Christ and given the place it deserves within the Christian faith. The famous saying of John Calvin, “He who has God for his father, will have the church for his mother,” is not taken very seriously nor is the strategic place of the church in God’s design. This is especially true today.
Is it possible that today’s church has developed a culture that drives men away by asking them to check their masculinity at the door? This is Murrow’s thesis and it is well worth thinking about.