We acknowledge the past failures of the church in regard to youth ministry. We understand that parents, especially fathers, have become disengaged from the task of discipling children. We are aware that most churches have not consistently expected or prepared parents to disciple their own children. We live in a society in which adolescence is perceived as an extended season of nothingness rather than a period of preparation for mature adulthood. Responsibility has been minimized and selfishness and entertainment are maximized. Yet, we are called to love and proclaim the gospel in this confusing context.
Youth ministry over the past few decades has been a giant pendulum, swinging from side to side, leaving many implications and consequences in its wake. One side of the pendulum swing has been a sort of "mini church", entertainment-driven program that separates families from students in an effort to contextualize the gospel to something that the students will "get." The other end of the pendulum path brings us completely away from any sort of age graded youth ministry whatsoever in order to avoid the entertainment-driven, separation model. How can we go forward, given this confusing history?
Baptist Church of the Redeemer exists to make disciples of Jesus, by the power of His Spirit. We don't need to alter that vision in any way in regard to students (youth). Nor do we need to separate them from their families in order to minister to them. In fact, we believe that the family is the primary source for biblical instruction, accountability and discipline in a child's life. Thus we are seeking to equip and encourage parents, especially fathers, to lead their families in worship and service of Jesus.
However, we do understand that not every child (in fact very few children!) comes from a Christian home. Thus we want to create an environment to reach out to "spiritual orphans", those students lacking parental discipleship. In doing this we want to encourage unbelieving or absentee parents to take up their charge from Jesus, and that starts with trusting Him as their Savior.
Finding a good balance in our youth ministry is a constant prayer concern for our elders and thus we ask you to join us in praying and working out these plans logistically and practically. Join us as we seek to pass on the legacy of Christ to the next generation of students at Baptist Church of the Redeemer.