A few weeks ago, I was asked:
What do you see as the biblical basis for youth ministry?
The question through me for a loop because I haven’t thought about a Biblical case for youth ministry in a long time. I know there are some that don’t think youth ministry is Biblical and that there are not enough Biblical passages that support the field of youth ministry. But I think youth ministry is very Biblical and very essential for any adolescent who is going through his/her journey.
A Theology For Why Youth Ministry Matters:
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
Jesus only gets mad twice in the New Testament.
He gets mad at: the Pharisees for being too religious and at his disciples for rebuking the children that come running to Him. My interpretation of these Biblical texts tell me a lot about how Jesus views kids and teenagers. Jesus wants kids to passionately fall in love with Him and vice versa.
Honestly if Jesus attended church, I think he would want to spend a lot of His time with the teens because they are the trouble makers and the people in the church who are causing all the problems, including the youth pastor. Jesus’ heart was for the marginalized. I think today, students are heavily marginalized because they are living in an adult run and driven world. Students are needing more non-parental adults to care for them and not get mad at them as they try and run/walk/jog/moonwalk to Jesus.
In the book of Acts Paul doesn’t talk about having a youth ministry department at the local church. We don’t find any of Paul’s letter that are addressed to the youth pastor. But what we do find is that Jesus gets really upset when adults get in the way of students who are trying to run to Him. I think this is a big theological deal because it suggests Jesus has a special place for teens in his heart. Therefore I think the church should have a special place for teens to gather.
If you were asked this same question: “What do you see as the biblical basis for youth ministry” what would you say?