Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Youth Group is Church

Pastors Rick and Tom are doing a series in Sunday morning worship on “Body Parts”. Rick’s message on Sunday was right on. It was good to hear what I expected to be “same old, same old” in a fresh and new way.

The text is Romans 12:4-5:

4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

This once again got me to thinking about youth ministry because Rick said, “youth group is church”.

So many church folks have the idea that church is this institutional organization that meets on Sunday mornings. The building is the church to some. Let’s go to “church”. Fact is that when your small group gets together during the week that is church. When you go and help someone in your church with a need that is the church ministering. The church isn’t the pastors/elders. The church is you the church is me.

For about 17 years those who don’t realize or understand that the youth group is church have perplexed me. When the students get together for worship or fellowship then that is the church getting together.

I know of parents who wouldn’t dream of letting their kid skip Sunday morning worship. Why? "Because that’s church. “In our house we go to church”. Let’s carry that logic on out a ways. If youth group is church why let them skip or not even attend at all, not get involved? Just curious.

Once a student in our youth group was grounded and that included from youth group and I asked the student’s father in church the next Sunday morning if he would ground his son from church? The dad replied, “No.”. Then I asked, “Isn’t the youth group the church?” He then smiled and said, “I get it”. He didn’t ground his child from youth group again.

I know that some view youth group as “fun and games”. This may be true in some youth ministries where fun and games is their focus but not in most groups. Sure we play “Man, Gun, Gorilla” followed by some worship in music then Bible study. I think some may be jealous that we don’t have a few games in “big church” on Sunday mornings. But youth group is the church doing church geared and aimed at reaching students so they can come to know Christ and become part of the church as well. Youth aren’t the church of the future they are the church today. The worst is when the pastor doesn't "get it". Glad I'm not in that church.


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