I am writing this article to give a glimpse of a teen group that is unusual in our time. Several lengthy news articles of late give the impression that in order to attract youth, we must leave the old, outdated beliefs of the past. We are told that the older generation will have to understand. We are told that Churches walk a fine line between attracting younger members and alienating older ones. In the same context, we are being told that some Churches are hesitant to offer contemporary services with contemporary music.
I hope you know that there are Churches like ours that feel absolutely no pressure from the world to compete with the world for the youth of our day. We do not weigh out what we gain and what we lose by doing such things. What we are more concerned about is this: Is it Scriptural and does it please God? Using the words "contemporary" and "traditional" to define Church services is like saying "Our contemporary service will make you feel like you are in the world, and our traditional service will make you feel like you are in Church." For example, older folks do not want to feel like they are at a rock concert, and younger folks do not want to feel like they are in Church.
I have spoken on several occasions to teens who have attended local youth rallies patterned after the world and sadly, it was just another rock concert. I have witnessed to teens who had every appearance of the world and had patterned their behavior and appearance after the entertainers, musicians and sports figures of our day, yet they claim a strong affiliation with a Church youth group. Though our youth group is not perfect, I would like to share with you what I believe should be a normal response to straight preaching and Bible truth through the ages. We have around 30 teens in our group. They are not weird nor do they look odd by traditional standards.
They have been taught the Bible and know what they believe. None of our young men wear earrings. Not one of them wears baggy pants or shorts with their pocket at the bend of the knee and undies showing. Not one of them has a weird haircut or hairdo. The same goes for our young ladies. They look like ladies. They do not dress punky. They dress like ladies and carry themselves in such a way as to draw respect from young men. They stand out in a crowd. It is easy to look at them in a crowd and see that they do not pattern themselves after the world. They do not fit in with the crowd that fits in with the world.
Search the Bible and you will not find one instance of a youth group that differed from other Saints of God around them. Check out David, Daniel and Timothy. None of them would have fit in a contemporary, worldly youth group. Read Titus Chapters 2 & 3. What you find here as well as other places in the Bible is emphasis on bringing the believer up to Gods standard, rather than bringing the Church, or Believers down to the worlds standard. Regretfully, this is exactly what is happening in the average youth group. I received a letter last week advertising the "John Jacobs Power Team." Mr. Jacob quoted a Pastor stating that he had a revival meeting every summer for 45 years. He stated that the Pastor had the Power Team and the result was greater than "45 years of traditional revival meetings." Of course, you see the implication is that Traditional Revivals centered around preaching the Word of God is not working. You have to call in a bunch of musclebound prettyboys to reach the youth. No amount of rationalization will ever justify cheapening the Gospel to such a low place, "For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1 Cor. 1:18) OUR YOUNG PEOPLE NEED PREACHING!