For the past year I have been serving as the Interim Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church in Lebanon, TN. It has been a unique experience being that it is my first interim position. There are many challenges you face as an interim that you do not deal with as a full time staff member. For myself, I consistently deal with the frustration of not being able to be there more often and in turn feeling limited in the range of service that I can offer this community of believers. I have grown so much in the midst of this experience. I have seen a picture of what a godly family should look like through multiple families within this congregation. Annie and I experienced the overwhelming kindness and generosity of a people that can simply be characterized by the word loving. We have dealt with the struggles of connecting real Christian faith with real Christian change and action in the lives of teenagers.
This leads me to a series of blog posts by a man named Voddie Baucham. Voddie is an elder who oversees the preaching ministry of Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, TX. I have had the privilege of hearing him teach and preach on a few occassions during my time at Union University. He is a man who I have come to respect and admire as a preacher, teacher, apologist, and man of God. On his blog, Voddie makes a bold statement about the current state and model of youth ministry today. He states:
“Youth Ministry as we know it has three key problems: The model finds no support in Scripture, it undermines the biblical practice of family discipleship, and it has failed to accomplish the goal for which it was established.”
Since I am currently serving as a youth minister, I have taken a keen interest in this argument. I believe Voddie has a very strong argument that certainly challenges the way things have been done over the past 20-30 years. Naturally, this type of discussion will rattle some cages and create some unsettled feelings. Nonetheless, I urge you to read these posts and leave me some thoughts of your own concerning this matter. I definitely believe that some discussion on this issue will be a great benefit to many people (or least to me). Here is the link and the posts you should read:
Begin with Youth Ministry – Parts 1-3, continue with Answering Objections to the YM Issue, and finish with What’s a Youth Minister to Do? – Parts 1 & 2.