Youth Church ….. a questionned idea

Had an e-mail that I am now posting below. I thought it would be a cool question to open out to the collective IQ of the Youth Ministry Blogworld ….

“so tell me what you think about a Youth Church. We are an inner city ministry to teens. Many are spiritually hungry and respond to the gospel message. Our efforts to bring a large group of teen without families into any church has not been successful. Most churches are not equipped or care to minister to a group of energetic at risk youth without parents. After some years in this particular setting, we have the opportunity to puchase an old church in our neighborhood”

6 Replies to “Youth Church ….. a questionned idea”

  1. My concerns about a totally youth church would be the lack of experienced mentors/role models/guides – by which I mean Biblical knowledge, faith experience and life experience. That obviously depends on the calibre and quantity of adults involved in the project, so isn’t an insurmountable problem.
    One should also consider the risks that a “ceiling” might form, a maximum level of development beyond which the young people could not pass due to lack of guidance and teaching.
    One should also consider what happens to the young people when they become not-so-young people and no longer wish to be around young people – a youth church needs a good tie-in and feed into a “regular” church, otherwise one could find a lot of Christians in their early 20s with no church to which they feel they belong.
    With all that said and done, I’m a little confused as to what a youth church in its own building can offer that a dedicated service in an existing church can’t…
    (Disclaimer time! This is just my initial not-very-carefully-thought-out thoughts on the subject, and I don’t mean any insult or judgement on any youth churches already in place.)

  2. Sounds to me a great opportunity to start a new church – the first expression of a church in a new culture, which may initially be a youth church, but my guess is it won’t be long before you gather more than youth!

  3. I think I agree with Nick here:
    “I’m a little confused as to what a youth church in its own building can offer that a dedicated service in an existing church can’t”
    I’m struggling to understand what:
    “Most churches are not equipped or care to minister to a group of energetic at risk youth without parents” means in this context.
    If the question poser has the people and resources to set up a new church, why can’t this be done in the current setting?
    If the question is more about how the building is equipped, then I fear the questioner doesn’t understand Youth Ministry – having a building which looks “funky” to attract young people is mere froth. They’ll come for a while but soon move on to the next funky venue. Youth Ministry is about the what & not the where. I would be loathe to spend out good money on a new building when any venue, with a bit of thought, time and effort, can be made good enough to get people through the door. Its what you do with them when they’re in that matters.
    I feel perhaps I’m missing the point of the question here, but fail to understand what the problem actually is!!

  4. Do it. Lots of people will come up with good reasons not to but do it anyway. Before you know it you’ll be wondering how to keep out kids who are a bit too young and what to do with those who are a bit too old. Maybe your youth will get married and have children and get older. Tell other churches around you that you’ll accept any help and support they want to give, particularly money. I don’t read anywhere in the New Testament that Paul was reluctant to plant a church.

  5. personally think it is great idea but there is a need to balance objective and long term outcomes. My post of 24th Oct has a quote (prob a Marko one!!) that needs bearing in mind and I believe that there are some youth congregations that one day woke up to find that their youth church were not so young anymore.
    None of these are reasons not to try but they may help for the long term ideas and ideas.
    In my musings I am assuming long etrm thinking a sthere is a building involved – but this does not have to be the case!

  6. It might be worth putting your questionner i touch with the Eternity youth Church in Bracknell, which is a plant from St Michael’s Wharfield. They are lovely, and have 10 years worth of experience, including having good spiritual oversight, and what to do with those 16 yr olds who grow into 20 somethings and don’t want to go away!! I’m sure they’d be up for sharing some wisdom!

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