Thank you for showing interest in our youth ministry. At CFBC, we want to build relationships, discover how practical the Bible is to our lives, and have fun together! We meet each Sunday morning and have a mid-week study where we focus in on cultivating a Biblical World View.
We are firmly convinced that what youth need most is the gospel of Jesus Christ the Lord. He is the one in whom the fullness of God is found, and he’s the one in whom we are filled (Col 2:9-10). Moreover, he is the one who gives meaning to this life.
He didn’t come to escape the world but to redeem it. When you read the Gospels, you see the way in which Jesus and his kingdom brought redemption to this world by overcoming physical evil (emotional and physical sickness), metaphysical evil (Satan and the demons), and moral evil (sin).
And the amazing message of the gospel is that we are transferred into Jesus’ kingdom of redemption and the forgiveness of sin (Col 1:13-14), a kingdom we pray comes “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). It’s a kingdom of meaning for today that heals the broken and strengthens the tempted as they live in the world (but are not of the world).
The assumption Paul makes is that all Christians—including young ones—have been taught this “kingdom on earth as it is in heaven” Jesus, the Messiah as presented in the Old and New Testaments. This is the Jesus in whom youth today can truly root their faith and be fed, grown, and established.
Where is Jesus found? In the worship of his people, the church. As others have said, the way we come to know Jesus is through the means he gave us: Scripture, true Christian fellowship, and prayer. These are the practices that by faith renew their minds in such a way that enables youth to view and live in the world with purpose and meaning as followers of Jesus. These are the practices that by faith force youth from their technologically imposed isolation, discourage their entitlement, and lead them to a spirit of humility and repentance. These are the practices that by faith expose their dependence on Jesus and remind them of their need for grace.
And these are the practices that are to define our worship as the church. Certainly, some of these practices can take place in youth-only venues, but at its heart, these are full-body practices of the corporate church: young and old worshiping together.
We love youth ministry. But we will not segregate the youth for our sake and theirs. They are part of the body of Christ too, and no part of the body can remain healthy if one of its members is cut off and put to the side. If we segregate the youth, not only do we lose all they have to teach us, but we also inadvertently teach them that the church is really only for adults—those who are married and have families of their own. And then we wonder why they don’t get involved in church as college students or young singles, when in reality, we’ve been telling them all along that the church isn’t yet for them.
Our hope is that as we minister to a generation starving for meaning, we won’t lose sight of the reality that what these youth need is Jesus, and that He is most fully offered within the community of the church, of which they are a vital part.