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Youth Ministry is Segregation in the Corrupt Church System

Updated on June 21, 2017
PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails' goal is to be a catalyst in encouraging the followers of Christ to pursue Biblical truth for themselves.

There are startling statistics that church youth ministries have been ineffective. Two-thirds of the youth are going to abandon Christ if they even know him at all. Youth ministries are hindering kids from growing spiritually in the way of Christ and the principles of the Kingdom of God. Their gospel of fun, games and hype have replaced the genuine Gospel of the Kingdom. Generations of youth do not even know about having the genuine faith of following Christ, or respect the word of God in their actions and behaviours.

What is the inspiration behind so many youth turning their backs on Christ?

Why do they not respect the way of Christ and Kingdom principles?

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

A Hindrance to the Gospel

Simply put, the answer is summed up in the verse in Proverbs. If the generation of our youth are not trained in the way that they should go, there will be failure.

Who is responsible?

It is the esteemed youth ministry programs that consist of fun and games with cherry-picked Scripture verses on occasion. The fact is that youth ministries have always been a hindrance to the genuine Gospel and it spiritually harms the family and the body of Christ.

Today, what usually resonates with the youth about their leader is that he is a cool guy who can relate to them on their level. This may sound harmless, but the dire statistics show that more than eighty percent of the youth that come out of their church programs will turn away from their supposed faith in God.

What is the problem?

No difference.
No difference.

Youth culture embraces the idea of reaching the lost with music concerts, light shows, smoke and mirrors with lots of hype as a way of bringing them closer to God. The youth are exposed to the worldly experiences as a means to attain God versus sound biblical teaching. The truth of God’s word has taken a back seat to fun, games and the latest parlour tricks. There is really no distinction between worldliness and godliness as the lines have become blurred into the same thing.

Many of the youth today believe that Scripture is subjective. Truth has become relative as God's word is interpreted through the lens of man’s ideologies and denominational traditions rather than the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Important Questions

Why do the youth have so many doubts about God?

These doubts even come from kids who are living in supposed Christian homes with their parents.The problem is that the youth are attracted to the religious program, the money is there, the events are stellar, but there is no fruit that results.

You have to wonder when these kids go to bed at night, do they really know who, or what 'it' was all about?

Is the Gospel about smashing watermelons, making music videos, doing the Harlem Shake and imitating the way of the world?

What has really been accomplished in their hearts?

Playing church with a hip folk hero youth leader is nowhere to be found in Scripture.Who should we blame?

Are we as parents taking responsibility for passing Scripture and its principles on to our children?Is it the hireling youth pastor’s role to do so?

Is being a master at fun and games in a hopped-up atmosphere to get people in the church doors really going to bring a generation up who will repent of their sins and desire to walk in the way of Christ?

The authenticity of the Gospel comes from something that is true and real and is not contrived by man. The church system and their youth ministries have opened their arms to the foolishness of the world’s ways to reach our kids.

The fact is that if the standard of Scripture was acknowledged, the concept of what youth ministry is today would cease to exist.

Jean Jacques Rousseau
Jean Jacques Rousseau

Humanistic Origins

Primary source documents reveal that the origins of youth ministry and Sunday school comes from ideologies of men like Robert Raikes. He attempted to reach prisoners and under-educated kids with his social reform programs. His prison program eventually failed and the error of his segregated Sunday school programs can be seen by its affects today.

It is apparent that the family nature of the body of Christ is being corrupted and destroyed for segregated ministries and church programs. Fathers and mothers have relinquished their responsibility to disciple their children and the youth have become segregated into their own culture. The pattern of church education is no different than system of the world. The church and school hallways are no different. The youth are chattel who go through a series of processes or curricula into segregated age groups and become products of their Gospel name-brand.

What happened to the biblical principle of children being discipled by their parents?

When did following Christ lead to segregated classroom environments?

When did it become appropriate for adults to be segregated from youth?

A brief understanding of the historical roots of church youth program methodologies lead all the way back to 380 BC where a philosopher, Plato had the idea that children must be separated from their parents.

In the 1700’s, Jean Jacques Rousseau believed that education of the children was more important to the state than to their families.

As already mentioned, Robert Raikes founded a social reform program called Sunday school for street children. G. Stanley Hall applied Darwinian evolution to child development theory and John Dewey instituted the age segregated learning environment.

It is obvious that the church system today has embraced these humanistic seeds and the bad fruit has manifested. The ideologies of these men and all those who embrace them are at war with God. The church system has become a reflection of Athens, not Christ.

Discipline and instruction.
Discipline and instruction.

Family Discipleship

In contrast, there is a term called 'discipleship' with a purpose to encourage everyone to respond to God and equip families to do what He has called them to do. Biblical foundations, standards and principles should take precedence over secular psychology, pragmatism and man-made traditions. The supposed popular innovations that are promoted to embrace culture with secular principles and man-driven forms of worship are dangerous and apostate.

Uzza in the Bible had good intentions when he tried to save the Ark of the Covenant from falling to the ground, but he did it in a way that God did not accept and he was killed (1 Corinthians 13:9-10).

It is quite clear that the modern church system promotes spiritual death. They have reached out and grabbed the things of the world against what God has explicitly made clear in His word. They do not follow the inspired pattern of Christ and the apostles by neglecting their authoritative examples and testimony.

The New Testament ekklesia were age integrated with the older men and women who discipled the younger generations. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, there was the unsegregated unity of the believers comprised of men, women and children.

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. - Luke 18:16

When entire households and families can come together in unity and worship God through Christ, it is a beautiful thing. As parents of youth, we are to communicate the truth of God’s word to our children while they are living in our households.

What does family discipleship look like?

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),“that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:1-4

Father or Youth Pastor?
Father or Youth Pastor?

The Duty of Fathers and Mothers

Fathers and mothers, it is your duty to love your children enough to teach them God’s Word. We disciple the children we love, to the God we love.

When we truly understand the blood that Christ shed for all of mankind, how can we not make His love the focal point in our children’s lives?

All the money and man hours of youth ministry is 'Plan B.' It is a secular plan that has its origins in humanistic ideologies. What looks like success is a deceptive illusion. The statistics cannot be denied. When God is denied, His life changing power is denied.

The problem has become two-fold. Fathers and mothers have not stepped up to the plate to take responsibility for their God given role. As the parents have become negligent in their responsibility and duty to disciple their children, the church system has taken over and created a segregated atmosphere where the parents are not equipped to thrive in their proper role. What corrupts the family is allowing things that are completely foreign to Scripture to take precedence. Youth ministry has turned the father and mother's attention away from their biblical duties and given them over to church officials as an easy-out. When church authority usurps the parent’s duty, it makes you wonder who is the head of the family.

Over eighty percent of youth, including those who are on the fence will turn their backs on God as they transition into adulthood because they bought into the lies and corruption of the harlot church system. All the system did was pave the way for the youth to veer right on to the wide road that leads to destruction.

Daughters too!
Daughters too!

The Parent's Responsibility

If you are a father or mother, you want your children to follow your example as you follow in the the way of Christ and the principles of the Kingdom of God. It is good for your children to come and ask the hard questions, not to go to some hip, immature youth leader who is hired to entertain them with hype and emotionalism.

Man-made tradition will say that youth ministry is essential, but really it is a compromise to secular ideologies. It is doing more harm than good to families because it usurps the authority that God has given to the family, especially the fathers.

When the true Biblical standard is applied, it will exhort and admonish fathers and mothers to turn their hearts toward their children. When this happens, the youth pastor will become irrelevant and deemed a hindrance to family unity. God has appointed fathers and mothers, not the youth pastor to lead our children. It says nowhere in Scripture that hired hands are qualified to have spiritual jurisdiction over our children.

The church is doing exactly what the secular philosophers have promoted by replacing family responsibility with social programs that infringes on the role of the parent.

Nurturing and correction are the parent’s responsibility in a child’s life. The parents are the ones who have the tools to shape the younger generation. Training kids in the way they should go are the result of responsible parents, not the institution. When the parents outsource their responsibility, the family unit will starts to crumble spiritually.

Many fathers have neglected their spiritual role in their children's lives and it has manifested into generations of youth who do not have any positive father figures.

When this happens, the institutional church tries to fill the void with their youth ministries.

Are we are willing to obey God with our children and do away with the youth ministry and go from segregation to inclusion?

The true Gospel is about bringing all people together no matter what culture, age, gender or race. In the genuine body of Christ there is a vast array of gifted people who can fill the void of those who may be fatherless or motherless. The genuine ekklesia has many grandfathers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles in the faith who can spiritually care for the youth in a non-segregated environment.

A group of peers within the concept of youth ministry does not create a stable family environment. What creates stability is equipping fathers and mothers to do their job. Youth ministry steers a child’s heart toward their peers, youth pastor, boyfriends or girlfriends in an unbiblical segregated environment. God did not ordain youth ministry, but harmony among family.

Throw out the tradition of man.
Throw out the tradition of man.

Biblical Pattern

There is absolutely no evidence of youth ministry and its patterns in Scripture. Youth leaders and their kin will not like this finding, but there is no biblical foundation for their existence.

Also, the results and statistics of bad fruit cannot be refuted because they have entered into a jurisdiction that God has not permitted them.

The word of God is sufficient. We do not want to stand before God thinking that we 'helped' Him out by embracing fallen humanistic ideologies to reach our youth. The duty of those in the body of Christ and the responsibility of the family is clearly laid out. It is time throw out the trash of the man-made traditions and follow the leading of Christ. It is time to abandon the conventions of man and come out of the harlot church system and become part of obeying God’s plan for family, youth and the ekklesia that Christ is building.

© 2013 PlanksandNails

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    • sonfollowers profile image


      16 months ago from Alpharetta, GA

      Interesting hub.

      Honestly, youth groups do nothing to undermine the authority of the parent. Parents have a responsibility that remains unaffected by what the church does or how it's organized. We should invest in the spiritual development of our children within the home as their first and most foundational source for understanding what it means to have a loving relationship with Jesus Christ, true enough. Parents that aren't doing that can't blame the youth ministry. If teenagers enter college unprepared in terms of their spiritual foundation, it is less a failure of the church and more a failure of the parents. You seem to promote this but at the same time attack the church for not filling a role that never belonged to the church anyway.

      Churches when I was younger were much more insider focused. They were much more focused on tradition and "this is how you're supposed to do church." Modern churches are much more focused on reaching outsiders. While there are some that water down the message, that's not universal and you're doing a disservice to those who are drawing in outsiders while clearly communicating the entire message of the Bible unapologetically. 2000 years later, churches must successfully navigate staying true to the foundation and message of scripture while doing their best to reach those who are on the outside and are wrapped up in this 2017 culture. That is the great commission, and it is still a requirement for us today. We don't have the luxury to isolate ourselves and just focus in our inner circle. We were called to do better than that.

      Hopefully that makes sense.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Efficient Admin,

      You make some valid points. Many lack the biblical understanding of what it means to be part of the body of Christ.

      People join buildings called churches where they expect to be served, fed, entertained and cared for. Even the youth have this same sense of entitlement, rather than having servant mentality.

      What is called youth "ministry" today is simply an agenda to entertain with the latest gimmicks run by a babysitter they call "youth pastor."

      Youth "ministry" is a cliché night of entertainment with some sort of short watered message from the Bible in a fabricated glorified coffee shop setting, or nightclub atmosphere.

      Will they learn how to serve others, pray, learn the Word and follow the way of Christ?

      I doubt it.

      You are right, they are set up for failure, but their parents are to blame. What do they know? They were brought up the same way too.

      It is the parents responsibility to disciple their kids, not hand them over and segregate them with a glorified babysitter a couple of hours a week.

      Most want fun and games conforming to the likeness of the world to say relevant, rather than knowing what it is to be set apart.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 

      2 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I feel like a lot of churches in my area "idolize" the youth. I go to a ladies evening bible study every year at a certain Baptist church, and about two years ago they made us switch our schedule and classrooms because they were renovating the "youth area" where we were having our study. Keep in mind this "youth area" was already very new and sparkling clean. They wanted to add flat screen TVs and who knows what else.

      I made an observation to the leadership that I felt they were putting the kids before studying the Word, and that the church is teaching kids the world revolves around them -- but when these same kids grow up and go into the real world, they will find out the world does not revolve around them. So I feel these churches are setting the kids up for disappointment. Just my two cents.

    • celafoe profile image


      2 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      ALAN-- Unfortunety you have just told us that you care more for the doctrines of men than those of God. If it works, in your opinion. its good.

      That makes it clear you have drunk the koolaide of the church system instead of the life giving waters from Jesus, how sad.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago


      If you are wanting to correct, then please provide your evidence accompanied with the standard of Scripture to back up your statement.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Articles like this always hurt to read as they come out of a close-minded place without a true acknowledgement of how the Spirit can work through a variety of ministry contexts.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago


      The Church system does not really resemble that which is attested in Scripture as people are separated by the clergy into different classes by age, gender and social status with men with special distinctions and titles that create a separation between the pew-warmers and the salaried officials upon their stages. These are not found among the early Ekklesia.

      Jesus Christ considered and called his followers brethren and said the greatest in the Kingdom would be servants. Salaried church officials in a hierarchical system cannot deem themselves as servants because they are hired hands.

      He who is a HIRED HAND and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a HIRED HAND and cares nothing for the sheep. - John 10:12-13

    • Hannah David Cini profile image

      Hannah David Cini 

      3 years ago from Nottingham

      Lovely article. I think a true church family should encourage relationships between different age groups with older mentoring younger and younger inspiring older. I have been to churches where they seem to inadvertently break the family up with women's group one night, men's another and youth a time after that so time spent as a family and whole is really eaten into.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago


      We need to take our kids back. Unfortunately, it is a hard thing to unindoctrinate your kids when they have been in the church system most of their lives. The salaried youth minister/ entertainers are not going acknowledge that they are nowhere to be found in Scripture.

    • profile image


      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      There is actually a baptist "pastor" who teaches exactly the same thing on sermonaudio. His name is Jason Cooley (undid the corporation status of his church too). Thinking about and seeing the consequences of modern youth programs in my own family, I heartily agree. I even contacted Awana leader for Ontario, Canada about this issue and slipping in contemplative practices, but he ignored me completely.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Efficient Admin,

      Not only do they need our prayers, but the parents need to take ownership and responsibility for their children's spiritual food. The youth ministries have enabled abandonment and segregation from the very people who are able to encourage and foster them with their relationship with Jesus Christ.

      I am encouraged that you can see it for what it is. It is a subject that many do not want to hear, but must be exposed for what it is. Parents need to take back their youth from these modern church programs before it is too late.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Hello PlanksandNails -- and that's why the youth abandon the faith and go crazy (i.e. partying, alcohol, etc...) once they go to college. They didn't get the foundation while in the youth group. It's a real shame. Kids today really need our prayers.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Efficient Admin,

      Thank-you for you comment and appreciate you thoughts.

      Youth ministry has become all about creating a carnival atmosphere, which creates the absence of thought. Cotton candy is served, and the results are youth who have no critical thinking skills, or discernment. The preoccupation with hype, experience, amusement and entertainment has nothing to do with the genuine Gospel. The youth pastor becomes the circus clown called to entertain the parents kids in a spiritual amusement park.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      "They have opened their arms to the foolishness of the world’s ways to reach the youth of today."

      What came to my mind was the hard rock music, loud guitars, concert strobe lights (you know, things that make my head hurt and draw my mind away from meditating on God).

      Also these kids need adults around them so they learn how to act right, rather than being let loose to "hang out" with each other all night with very limited adult supervision. This is a really great and insightful hub. Thanks for sharing. Awesome! voted up and across.

    • celafoe profile image


      5 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      I have found exactly the same. I have been teaching these things for almost 40 years now and it is really difficult to find people that are not "church" indoctrinated in the USA. I have spent time in several foreign countries and find the American apostate church way has been exported, but the difference is they want TRUTH and are open to what scripture really says , where the American churches brand you as divisive and chase you off. Most of my time is spent working with Home Churches, I gave up on the churches of men years ago and spend my efforts where Truth is appreciated.

      Its that liberal/ socialistic philosophy that is prevalent. Of course all this is to be expected as Peter and Paul et al warned us this was to come. I am really enjoying your articles , Keep up the good work.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago


      It is comforting to know that there are like-minded people out there. I have noticed that they are more rising out of the wood work sounding the horn and a raising a voice of urgency. The genuine church is not about the playground, but the battlefield. So many are in slumber believing the false doctrines that are spewed from the pulpit. Every verse of the Word of God in proper context will be contended by the lukewarm religious man. It is time to throw out the apostasy with truth.

      I find that most people that disagree with my articles are the salaried hierarchical ministers who are defending their man-made titles and positions. It's the title that the pinners of religion give them for identity. It's time to for them to step down, step aside, and let the Holy Spirit move. If they don't get down from the pedestal, God will send those to start clawing at it. The higher the pedestal the bigger the fall.

      True leadership starts after the breaking process.

      Thank-you for the encouraging comment.

    • celafoe profile image


      5 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      wonderful article. the scriptural pattern is one meeting with the children at their parents feet. AND parent that understand it is their responsibility to teach their own children. and that have the scriptural understanding to correct anything that is wrong or that their children might misunderstand. If there is something that is way off base the wise parent just removes the children. parents that allow their children to go somewhere without them being present to be taught scripture are just plain foolish And no matter who teaches them the father will answer to God for it. The handful of times my 8 children were without me in a "church" setting were followed by an intense discussion of what was said. Brother I would like to talk with you , You have spent much time in the woodshed too

      Keep up the good work

    • Terri Collins profile image

      Terri Collins 

      5 years ago

      Amen,I believe the same way . Some of the concerts or drama's are like being in a rock concert.I see no Jesus in them at all.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 

      5 years ago from The World (for now)

      I have met many a youth who goes to Sunday School every Sunday, who is involved in dance in the church, youth choir and every single family day that there is and every youth I have spoken to knows little to nothing about the Bible and can tell me nothing about what they believe concerning Jesus Christ.

      They can sing contemporary Christian songs that sounds a lot like secular music, they can tell me all about the latest movies and they are willing -more than willing- to talk about the things of this world. But they are uncomfortable when talking about the things of God and generally do not bring up the Bible and God unless someone asks them about it. I am not convinced that God is in their thoughts at all and this is disturbing.

      They doubt God, they doubt the Bible and they embrace the world. They do say the things that you say they do, stating that what the world says can coincide with God and He can fit into the world's imagination of Him. They learn to put a limit on God and they doubt His All mightiness.

      These children also have disciplinary problems. Their parents always expect the teacher or the Sunday School teacher to spend time chastising them and they do nothing, or barely anything, to keep them on the straight and narrow.

      Separating the children from the adults is the worst thing that could have been done, in my opinion, because children need adults to be examples to them as Paul wrote to Timothy. Just as Paul was an example to Timothy, so was Timothy an example to someone younger than he was.

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago


      (" To state that all youth ministry is shallow and worthless is profoundly in error.")

      Why do the statistics say otherwise?

      If something is damaging to the faith of segregated group of people, why is the person facilitating the evidence bad for the faith too?

      Please clarify what you mean by "integration" and "age specific faith based activities."

      There is no throwing out the baby with the bathwater because family ministry is the foundation of the genuine church. It man-made traditions and programs that are spiritually corrupting the youth need to be thrown out, not the youth themselves. When the church functions as it should, there is no need for integration because it is already in one accord and in unified harmony with Jesus Christ.

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 

      5 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      I'm with you on the need for movement to family ministry, but fear that you may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater in rejection of children's and youth ministry. The issue for me is integration of these; there is still much value in age specific faith based activities for kids. To state that all youth ministry is shallow and worthless is profoundly in error. Dogmatic, canvased declarations such as yours about the lack of value of youth ministry are as bad for the faith as is the watering down in many youth ministry efforts.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Amen . . . Amen . . . Amen . . . . I could Amen every statement you mentioned. I've seen so much harm to our youth from so called "Christian" youth groups. One would have to look far and deep to find any redeeming good in them. And as you point out one way or another, it's really we as parents who are to blame. Thanks for another on spot hub.


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