Is Your Church “Youth Group” Even Biblical?

Over a decade ago I began a long journey asking this kind of question. At the time I was still in a church as a ‘youth pastor’ and beginning to notice some uncomfortable trends among the students in our church youth group. In early 2011, the church I now pastor, Eastside Baptist Church, took a major risk  and framed a formal statement, repenting before the Lord for neglecting the sufficiency of Scripture by employing a secular method of educating the children in our church when there was a clear directive in both the Old and New Testaments concerning the spiritual training of children. (Read HERE)


The National Center for Family Integrated Churches is currently conducting a national survey on the topic of church youth groups. Would you be willing to participate in this short survey?  Click on the link HERE to begin the survey. For taking the survey, the NCFIC will give you a free e-book, A Weed in the Church and free movie Divided.

Share this with your pastor/elders and deacons in your church. Warning, this is not a comfortable path to begin. Your traditions and philosophy will be challenged. I argue that this journey is worth taking. It is less a journey of age-integration and more a journey of the sufficiency of Scripture.


  • Jason Reddy

    September 16, 2013 at 9:58 PM Reply

    Paul, this seems like such a great idea. However, I am curious: you stated that there is a clear “directive” in the Bible for not separating ages. Can you please provide some examples of this. Thanks

  • Paul

    September 16, 2013 at 10:16 PM Reply

    Jason, The clear directive is throughout the Bible is the overwhelming instructions to fathers to teach or instruct these things to their children. I will gather up several references on Tuesday and share them here.

    Here is our churches formal position on the whole matter. I pastor a much healthier church, we have more children, youth, and families than ever before. I have men who strive to lead their families and no programatic method other than looking to Scripture. It is sufficient.

  • Paul

    September 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM Reply

    This confession statement is a good place to start for Scripture support:

  • cvawser

    September 17, 2013 at 3:53 PM Reply

    I agree that it is less a journey of age-integration and more a journey of the sufficiency of scripture. We just accept not only things in worship as norm but also things in this culture without asking the question on what does scripture say. I just listened to a sermon today that said, “If the world does something maybe we should stop.” We like to think that we have arrived or become more advanced than those in the past and reinvent things that are contrary to scripture. May we always keep learning from scripture and be willing to repent and change even though it is unpopular and others ridicule what we are doing.

    • Paul

      September 17, 2013 at 10:29 PM Reply

      It is strange that the church community doesn’t understand that our liberty in Christ does not mean we get to invent how we obey the Lord. We have a sufficient, trustworthy, reliable word that instructs us. Thanks for sharing what you heard in the sermon you listened to today. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ must take every thought captive.

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