I am currently reading the late Robert Webber's book, published in 2002, The Younger Evangelicals. In chapter 10 he talks about Youth Minsitry. Here is a great quote from a youth worker Webber heard at a conference he attended in 1998. I've written a few times in the past here about the need to dump the party atmosphere in our youth groups and get down to serious business. I think this quote says it very well,
"I followed the traditional approach to youth work. It was party, party, party---of the Christian sort, of course. We did skating parties, pizza parties, sleepovers, trps, retreats, and all the usual 'entertainment' plus a devotion to reach the young. But all of this was to no avail. Hardly anyone came. It was like banging my head against the wall. The more 'entertainment' I offered, the less the kids seemed interested.
As I began to think and pray about my frustration at being unable to reach these kids, it was as though God spoke into my despair and said,
'You're doing the wrong thing. These kids have more entertainment than they need. Television, MTV, school parties and the like. They don't want more of the same in church. What they want is Me. Give them Me and they will come.'
In obedience to what I heard God saying to me but with skepticism, fear and trembling, I put an end to all the entertainment stuff and announced that the main event of our youth group was to be a Friday night prayer meeting. To my shock but utter delight kids have come out of the woodwork everywhere. They sit on the floor and sing, they lay hands on each other and pray. I literally don't have enough space for all the kids who want to come and participate in this event."
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