Monday, March 28, 2011

Vision Forum Spring Savings Sale

This week Vision Forum is having a Spring Savings Sale with 40% - 70% off 400+ items.  Also each day there is a special item that is at least 80% off.  Sale ends April 2nd.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Review of: A Weed in the Church

Well, I finally got to reading Scott Brown’s book A Weed in the Church: How a culture of age segregation is harming the younger generations, fragmenting the family, and dividing the church. The issue of age segregation in the church is a subject that starts many a disagreement if one should broach the subject as to its detriment to the church especially in the modern youth ministry. Not because of some explicit command in scripture to divide up the church, especially youth, by age but because that is just how things have been done for some time. Scott’s writing of this book is not only timely but a much needed source for looking at how “age segregation” is affecting the church and the biblical approach to discipling youth.

When I first read the title, A Weed in the Church I thought Scott was asking for trouble but I am thankful for his boldness to call modern youth ministry what it is, an invasion into God’s plan for His church, a plan that Scott sets out in the pages of this book. He does so in a way that seeks to try not only show that the present form of youth ministry that is practiced is not prescribed in the pages of scripture but also to show that there is a plan for how to disciple youth in the Bible. For this I am grateful as often it is easy to see that one cannot find anything that looks like the age segregated ministry we see today in scripture but it is not always clearly stated that God has not left us without direction. It is clear that Scott sees scripture as not only sufficient for some things but finds it sufficient for all things, including how to disciple youth.

Scott also shows a love for those that are in modern youth ministry as he does not seek to bash them as he recognizes that they have good intentions and are trying to do what they feel will please God. But he seeks to show that good intentions apart from the commands of God are not the direction we are to go, no matter the immediate benefit we may see. The modern youth ministry of our day is showing that while the short term befits may appear positive in the long run modern youth ministry has failed to develop fully mature disciples of Christ as a whole. This is to be expected when man’s humanistic methods are employed to try and do God’s work, especially when God has set out His plan in His word and we simply need to abide by them.

One thing I personally thought of when I read the title was that as a youth I saw weeds as not necessarily all bad. Often the grass in our yard was dying, probably from the weeds, so the weeds added color and from my perspective were not all that bad. They seemed to accomplish what grass was to do, cover the ground and be green. But at the end of the day the weeds were an intrusion and were not to be there and simply because my perspective did not seem that that way it did not make them a good thing. Such is modern youth ministry as from the perspective of many in the age segregation movement it appears as a good thing but if one seeks to see it from God’s perspective, by reading and studying His word, one begins to see it is not what the church should be partaking in.

A Weed in the Church is broken up into 5 sections with the first being Orientation. Here Scott sets out the lay of the land and sets forth some definitions and qualifications. Next is Evaluation Historical Roots and Current Landscapes that speaks of the “Rise” and “Fruit” of modern youth ministry. The third section is, Multiplying Biblical Solutions for the Discipleship of Youth where he looks at youth ministry and the scriptural picture of what it should look like as well as the results of neglecting true youth discipleship. Fourthly Scott has a section on Answering Objections where he looks at many of the objections that are put forth when the proposition of abandoning age segregated youth ministry is offered up. Lastly Scott writes on Implementation and how one moves from where we are to a multigenerational form of worship.

I highly recommend this book and if you are one who sees great benefit in age segregated youth ministry I can only ask that you read the book with a mind to see what it has to say. Then weigh the content with scripture and let the word of God speak to the subject, as it so clearly does. Anyone seeking to make disciples should have as their one desire that of glorifying God and that does not only happen in the disciple that is developed but also by the method used to make disciples. Truthfully the fruit of ministry over time shows that fully mature and God glorifying disciples are most often produced by the methods God directs in His word. Let us seek to follow those methods and not the methods of man.

Thank you Scott.