A satanic strategy – call good evil and evil good.
In recent years, it has been postulated that youth ministry is an “aneurism” in the Church, is a “silo” that separates generations, “divides” students from their God-designed parental influence, is etc. And perhaps the most recent kick to youth ministry says it is “unbiblical.”
Many of these challenges emerge from good teaching gone off course. For instance, the parent should be the primary discipler of a student. Or, people should not live isolated from the broader Body of Christ. But adults, other than parents, investing in students is not wrong. And, students in small group gatherings is not necessarily a lifestyle of isolation from other generations in the Church.
If I were Satan trying to fight an emerging generation of students moving in and toward a Spirit empowered life, I would throw confusion at them by trying to turn the tables of good and evil…even within the Church if possible. I would call good evil and evil good. I would say it over and over and over. (The father of modern psychology, Dr. William James, said decades ago, “Nothing is so absurd that if repeated often enough, people will believe it.”) I would blame and shame youth, youth leaders and youth ministry moreover than less threatening things. The enemy’s attack puts good on defense. “Good, please explain yourself.” The strategy ends up pitting the Church against itself.
My friend Greg Stier recently addressed this in a powerful blog post that was then published in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Group magazine. YOU MUST READ THIS ARTICLE!
Youth leader, keep your student ministry work focused on four connections.
1. Connect students to God. They need saving relationship.
2. Connect students to family (especially parents). Here they learn to live the faith most transparently.
3. Connect students to the Church. They need more than you. They need to know that they have a place in and belong to the Body, certainly the lead pastor.
4. Connect students with the mission of God. Jesus called the disciples to Himself. Jesus is on a mission the redeem Creation. Students should be with Him.
Love God. Love people. Do good.