So, we want a youth program? The logical question is probably, "Why?" Because it is the next vital step in growing our church might be the response. Another response may be, "Because my kids would like to go to a church that has a 'big' youth program and they have friends who have great youth programs at their churches."
How about this simple answer? The church has an obligation to be a vital part of the faith development of its youth and a youth program is a commitment to that. Outside the family, the church is the most significant part of a child's faith development, and a youth program is a significant part of that. And given the statistic of the increase of children coming from single-parent families, the passage in James becomes even more prevalent: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (1:27)
Despite being legalistic to a degree, the passage does emphasize the fact that the church has a role and obligation to see that children, possibly fatherless or in households that are dysfunctional, have a place to go to hear the Word of God and is a safe haven from the problems that exist in this world (sanctuary).
When I hear we want a youth program, I agree and think of those opportunities kids can have to engage and have fun, but more importantly, I think of the expansion of opportunities to develop their faith lives.
"And these words I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise." (Deuteronomy 6)
Pray we are there for our children and others in need.
Hope Men's Ministry