Teenagers, part 3

New Warhorn Media post by Lucas Weeks:

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Really enjoying this series. I appreciate being challenged since we have one of those big ol’ vans and our church doesn’t have a “youth group,” just parents who host the young adults periodically. Teenagers participate in the adult Sunday class.

My main question is what exactly you gain from the format of the youth group as opposed to the youth getting together informally and just expecting young adults to be church members. Is it having a pastor speak to a narrow audience? The regular social events and games? Becoming friends with the youth pastor?

I heard you say that children need to learn to be under the church’s authority directly, rather than under their parents’, but doesn’t that also happen if they just participate in church like other adults?

Regarding mocking the square dance, isn’t a youth group still going to be hopeless as a cool dating environment if the church is made up, and possibly pastored, by people who like square dances?

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Nice questions, brother. If I get some motivation, I will respond. But seriously, like your interlocutions. Love,

We gain the same thing with our young men and women going through individuation as we gain with older women teaching younger women to submit to their husbands, be domestic, etc. from Titus 2. Which is to say each group in church needs instruction and care pastorally focussed on them and their station in life. The youth pastor is trained, ordained to the ministry, and intensely focussed on the spiritual needs of these young men and women at this dangerous point in their lives as covenant children. To call our Rev. focussed on our young men and women navigating individuation merely their “friend” is humorous. Unless, of course, you want to call him the “friend” of the parents of the youth, also? But of course, you don’t.

I would hope every pastor of the souls of the church is also friends of the souls of the church, but that doesn’t really say anything, does it? I hope every one of our pastors has many souls in our church who view him affectionately, as their friend, but whether or not they do, as head of staff or senior pastor, I demand of him that he be a faithful pastor, a faithful shepherd, of them. Even and especially if they don’t like him or resent him or kiss him off.

You understand what I’m saying here, right? Pastors are accountable to God for the souls under their care. The pastor to youth is accountable to God for the souls of the young men and women individuating under their care. To refer to him as their friend or the friend of their parents is laughable. You should come and meet the men and women who work with our young men and women going through the time of life of individuation.

Maybe I’ll respond to some other questions later. With love,


Thank you for the kind words and response. That makes sense to me. One thing I didn’t consider until you wrote “every one of our pastors” is that there are several of you on staff. It isn’t as if there is one pastor for the whole church, except for the teenagers off on their own with their own leader as some churches operate. When you are dividing up the pastoral work at Trinity, I suppose you would have to intentionally and awkwardly split duties to make sure no one was the obvious pastor to the youth. :slight_smile:

I actually would like to meet your youth pastors, if there were to be some opportunity. I don’t think I really understand what’s achievable in this area.

Interested in further responses if you have time.