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Biblical Youth Work

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I have discovered that writing a book is a time consuming task. There were moments when I questioned whether writing this book was worth the time and energy. I believe that God has led me write this book for three reasons.

First, I think the state of youth work is somewhat in disarray. Many solid fundamental Baptist churches are doing some very contradictory things. As I talk to youth leaders and ask them about their philosophy of ministry, I find very few that even attempt to give me a Biblical answer. I really think that most pastors and youth leaders have never even thought through the reasons for the way they structure their ministry. Often, they do things just because they saw someone else do it. This lack of Biblical basis is very dangerous.

Second, a quote from a preaching tape that I recently listened to sums up my concerns. The preacher said, “if you know anything about the independent Baptist movement, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are losing the majority of our teenagers. The majority of our children live for God just as long as they are living in our homes. There is something wrong with a Christianity that only works for our kids when they are at home. Real Christianity is not doing right when somebody is around. Real Christianity is doing right when nobody else is around.” My experience agrees with that preacher as well. There is something wrong with youth ministries that have these results.

It is a curse to see teens grow up in church and then disappear as soon as they turn 18. This should be the exception and not the rule. We lose our young people all too often. Instead of them going into a young married ministry, or the adult class within the church, they go into the world. This grieves my heart greatly.

Third, I also feel that there has been a void in the literature about youth work. I’ve not read every book, but I have noticed common threads in the ones I have read.

1. There is a lack of Scripture in the books I have read.

I am not saying that no Scripture was used in these books, but it was limited. The arguments in the books might be correct, but the Biblical basis was not evident. This is dangerous. Arguments may seem logical and sound, but without a foundation upon the Bible, no reasoning of man can be trusted.

2. The “why” is missing.

In many books, the reasons behind some basic fundamental ideas were missing. Questions like, “why have activities at all?” and “how much emphasis should be on the activities?” were not answered. Too many things that were in the books were just assumed to be correct. Too much was taken for granted without answering the basic questions concerning youth ministry.

3. Specific application was missing.

After reading a specific book, I may have been stirred emotionally. I may have even been challenged, but I really didn’t know where to go from there. The ideas may have encouraged me to act, but the “how to’s” were missing. I may have wanted to change for the better, but I really didn’t know what to do to get better.

4. The perspective was that of a full time youth pastor in a church averaging 1000 people with a large youth group and many resources.

And yet, this is not a typical church. The average church is much smaller with fewer resources. The average church hires a youth director who must work a secular job or, more often, uses “lay” help to fill the gap.

So, how does the typical youth director become trained for his ministry and how does he train those that work with him? It is NOT safe to assume that they are grounded in the Bible. It is NOT safe to assume that they know how to handle teen issues or how to work under the Pastor. Most youth directors do not understand the common problems they have to face and many pastors do not have the experience to know what to look for in a youth director.

These issues have all driven the scope of this book wider than you will find in a typical book on youth work. The result is a book that I believe will help pastors to be more effective in training the youth of the church and a practical tool that could actually be used by pastors to help train the lay staff they need. This book does not skip the basics that a “lay” helper might not know. It is my goal that it will be an excellent training aide for a youth director as he works with his pastor.

It has been my prayer that this would be a help to you and your ministry.
Jim Krohn

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Biblical Youth Work Book
Pastor Krohn has finished his book "Biblical Youth Work"

 The books are now selling for $12.95