An Opinion Piece By Matt Carter on Student Ministry

mattThis week’s “Friday post” is late AND is more of a question for you guys. I don’t really have answers, or much to back up my views on this one, so I’ll just ask you guys to participate and see what we get.

So here we go…
Youth ministry is a weird part of the church, at its best it would train and disciple young people to trust Christ. This seems possible, but I’ve rarely seen it. In its typical form it is a morality-based, babysitting organization. In its worst form, it is a haven for all kinds of abuses of power, including sexual abuse.

Why is it this way? My main guess includes two reasons that work together. 1. The church is notorious for giving people the benefit of the doubt for the sake of “being nice” and non-confrontational. 2. The role of youth minister or youth pastor, in a large statistical way, will tend to attract a higher than average number of people that are both intentionally and unintentionally seeking to misuse or abuse. I KNOW there are many people who follow this blog that are in youth ministry, so I ask you to speak up here, and I am not accusing any of you of anything. I would appreciate your point of view here.

I think it’s like cops. You know the kind I’m talking about, the ones that get satisfaction out of giving you a hard time and being in power. Those guys who were often picked on at earlier stages of life and thus sought a job with lots of authority (including being able to carry a gun).

Youth pastors can be weird, sometimes they just aren’t comfortable around adults, and sometimes they want to be a “real” pastor but only use youth ministry as a stepping stone. And yes some of them are just creeps.

I don’t see this role in the Bible, at least not our conception of it. It seems more like we don’t know what to do with teenagers, so if that guy says he is “called to work with kids” and he has a cooky sense of humor, then we let him have at it.

I’m inclined to say that we should get an older wise academic guy to do the job, maybe a church elder who is a grandfather?

Joey is pissed.  See his response here.

What do you think?

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