If student ministry means pulling all the good kids together and keeping them away from the bad kids and make sure they’re having fun…count me out. Building a Christian sub-culture which is “cool” will never stop kids from sinning.
- Christian school won’t stop them from sinning
- Christian music won’t stop them from sinning
- Youth Group events won’t stop them from sinning
- Christian knock-offs of Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Myspace won’t stop them from sining
- Keeping all the bad kids away won’t stop them from sinning
The reason is simple. Sin isn’t a bad thing which isn’t something outside of us which we need to keep out. It’s something which is inside of us which we need a Savior to rescue us from.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Your students need a new heart, not sheltering. They need a Savior, not walls. All walls do is keep students from spreading the gospel. It makes them weird and disconnected from the people they need to love, bless, and share the gospel with.
Yesterday I heard a pastor named Denny Henderson compare this kind of thinking with the peanut table in school cafeterias. Schools have a special table for students with severe allergies. They sit there to keep away from the evil, deadly peanuts. So often we treat church and especially youth group like that. We gather all the good kids together to keep them away from all the evil nutty people of the world.
If that’s youth ministry, I need to quite right now.
The greatest spiritual threat we face is our sin nature, and no amount of sheltering will ever protect you from it.