Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sufficiency of Scripture Conference - Summary of Sessions 10 & 11 (12/11)

Session 10 - Scripture is Sufficient for Ministry to Youth – Scott Brown
Scott Brown spoke on Youth Ministry and how we are to see it in light of the sufficiency of scripture.  The issue is not that the Bible does not say that we need to care for youth it is just that modern youth ministry is blind to what scripture says about ministry to youth.  Due to this there is a form of youth ministry that is harmful but to critique the modern youth ministry movement is not to say there were no successes.  There are youth ministries that seek to foster godliness in youth and that are not all about fun and games but this does not mean they are biblical.  The end does not justify the means. 

The issue with modern youth ministry is that it by its actions and often its words does not see God’s word as sufficient for defining ministry to youth.  Throughout the 20th Century the church has adopted a programmatic age segregated method of youth ministry.  The effects of this move in modern youth ministry is at an emergency level and this calls for a great response.

Scott Brown then spoke about the biblical record on youth ministry.  Ministry to youth is a well developed theme in scripture and shows the consequences of the  neglect of youth ministry (Judges 2:10-11).  The stress of Scott Brown’s talk was that ministry to youth must conform to scriptural patterns and commands and that the family has the primary responsibility for ministry to youth – especially fathers (Mal 4:6).  The Church also has specific duties for youth ministry and has been designed by God to minister to youth in His manner.  Contrary to the modern youth movement in the church the youth are to be seen as members and thus should not be segregated as they are now.

As far as the content of the instruction in biblical ministry to youth we need to see what scripture specifies.  The focus needs to include the supremacy of God and should lead people away from ungodly culture rather than to it as modern youth ministry has a penchant to do.  Another aspect is that generational faithfulness is to be emphasized in biblical ministry to youth.

Also covered in Scott Brown’s talk was to speak about the characteristics of modern youth ministry.  Significant financial resources and personnel are dedicated to it.  Also, modern youth ministry has created its cottage industries that also hamper changes in its functions due to the jobs and money involved.  Another characteristic is that often church leaders set aside the commands of God for church and family life in order to grow their youth ministry.

Some of the effects of modern youth ministry include fathers being eliminated from the ministry to youth.  Also worldly practices are employed to popularize it and cultural fragmentation is used to unify it.  The result of all of this is biblical evangelistic impotence.

The conclusion is that we need to replace the Modern Youth Ministry with the biblical view of youth ministry, a youth ministry derived from God’s word and not from our own inclinations.  All too often this is a very touchy area of conversation because so much effort has been expended and to admit it is a failure and that the whole idea of how we are to minister to youth must change elicits emotional responses.  But something has to be done and that something needs to be derived from God’s word and must start with family and the church.  It will not be easy to change but it has to start somewhere and it needs to start now.

Scott Brown also spoke about a documentary/movie they are working on that will be coming out in 2010 that would deal with youth ministry.

Session 11 - The Sufficiency of Scripture and the Gospel – Paul Washer
As usual Paul Washer’s sermon was passionate.  He spoke to the youth of the gathering primarily but the message was equally applicable to all present..  He spoke of how the youth were well behaved, well dressed but this did not matter if Christ was not an all consuming passion of theirs.  He shared that the externals they may have relied on cannot hide sin and we need to realize this.

Paul basically spoke on the reality of sin and the nature of the heart so that we see how great Christ’s work was.  He shared about how embarrassed we would be if our sin was shown on a screen to those around us and asked the question if we are embarrassed that God sees all our sin.

On speaking about sin Paul Washer worked to give the picture of sin that we need to have.  A view that sin is a stench and only God can deal with that stench through the cross and the washing of our heart by the blood of Jesus Christ.  No works can cleanse the heart.  With this view of sin we need to ask what we long for – our lifestyle or Christ.

Paul Washer then spoke on Romans 3:10–12 &19 and that none of us are righteous in ourselves.  Thus, looking back to his initial comments to the youth, he related how it is not about externals but about the heart and who we seek.  He stressed that since no works, no matter how good they are perceived as being,  can reconcile us to God and it is this that strips us of any hope in the flesh and thus our only hope is in Christ.

In whole the sermon was one that was to lead to a focus on Christ not self and to truly realize the great gift of grace  that God has bestowed on us when there is nothing in us to deserve it.

This was a good end to long day and great teaching.


Scott M. Head said...

Thanks brother for your continued notes, they are a real blessing!

Tony said...

No problem Scott, I have two more posts to go.