Youth Ministry Yesterday and Today

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Youth Ministry Yesterday and Today
Melonie Johnson
Grand Canyon University
Issues in Contemporary Youth Ministry MIN476
May 06, 2010

Youth Ministry Yesterday and Today
Youth ministry is not the same today as it was yesterday. Starting out originally for the sole purpose of teaching youth to read the Bible, it has evolved into a ministry for teaching youth a lifestyle for Christ. Although the mission is to develop disciples for Christ, youth pastors seem to be losing many youth to the ways of the world. In New England people wanted to start educating their children, and change their sinful nature (Senter, 2010, p. 5). Sunday school started hundreds of years ago, before child labor laws. Children were working during the week, and on Sundays they were not doing anything productive and people were worried (Senter, p. 7). The pastors at the church generally treated youth no differently than they did adults (Senter, p. 8). Many parents did not want their children to attend the Sunday school for fear of persecution (Senter, p. 5). This is how Sunday school started, and originally it was establish to teach youth the skills of reading the Bible. During the early 19th century, adults wanted to establish Bible lessons to keep youth out of trouble, and this evolved into youth having their own church service separate from adults (Senter). Pastors began to treat the youth as young adults, but not equal to adults (Senter). One current trend in some churches is having the youth in the same group as adults for part of the time, and then separate for the other part of the lesson. Youth leaders today are very active in youth ministry and the youth are still allowed to behave like you, rather than part of the working force. Whether in a separate youth church, or following a newer model of attending church with adults, many youth are not continuing this lifestyle for the long-term. Hundreds of years ago youth...
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