More than a cliché?
After 94 years of faithful Bible ministry Girl Crusaders Union (GCU) is having to close. A lack of young leaders – less than ten under the age of 40 in London – has forced GCU to close its doors in its present guise. On asking some of the young girls in my GCU class what other youth groups they attend, one girl told me that the church youth group she attends (which has more young people than our church group) was having a boy vs girl night.
‘The boys will be playing Play Station (PS3) and the girls will be having their hair done and manicures’.
‘Cute’, I said. ‘And what about the Bible study? What are you learning at the moment?’
‘Oh, we’re not. The leaders said there wasn’t enough time to fit everything in so we don’t have a Bible talk anymore’.
Another youth group from a different church: ‘We don’t really have a Bible talk any more as the boys wouldn’t get it’.
Can this be the way that we reach out to young people? Are we sending them to a lost eternity with great football skills and neatly-manicured nails? This is happening in reformed evangelical churches, churches that receive ET.
Pastors, do you know what goes on in your young people’s meetings? Has the desire to ‘bring them in’ blinkered your well-meaning youth workers to the desperate plight of lost souls in their care?
It is still the case that some churches adopting ‘old fashioned’ methods of teaching and leading (some even hold Sunday afternoon schools where boys and girls are taught separately!) have many young people attending to hear the Word of God, and still report conversions. Perhaps that ‘old-time religion’ is more than just a cliché!
Why aren’t young people at the prayer meetings? Why is it always the elderly? What happens to all the singles who are 40 and under?
Have your leaders and teachers been properly and thoroughly trained in the right doctrines? Have the right people with the right gifts been led to the work or are the most gifted people among your congregations the ones who are most busy in the world, leaving those who are not gifted in teaching but who are still willing, to take up the reins?