David is a workmate at the factory. Yesterday we had an assignment off-site and a good opportunity to talk as we worked. This man is Cuban with wife and three children. Both sides of the family have had rich experience in Gospel ministry. Frequently their efforts have been challenged or impeded by the anti-Church policies of the Castro regime. There have been beatings, house church invasions and jail terms. The term "seditious gathering" gets used often.
David has functioned as an associate pastor in a Latin American church in Kitchener. He has also examined other churches in the area looking especially for worship opportunities for his children. This he says is the biggest area of downfall in the local assemblies. The teens need to be exposed to legitimate worship opportunities with their peers and not just program.
Youth Church is not meant to be just another YMCA, bowling ally, cinema or lecture hall. The focus is not entertainment, ethics or education. It is worship and wide-open examination of the scriptures. He says, "These kids need to be exposed to the arrival of God by His Spirit in their midst. They need to be made to see that He is awesome and sovereign and available. When He takes over a service it becomes truly unforgettable and life-changing. What do our teens need more than this? They are assaulted daily by influences suggesting that righteousness, mercy and self-control are "uncool" and for losers."
Nothing could be more devastating than the encroaching attitude in society that we adults should not indoctrinate or "brainwash" the youth, but rather allow them to find their own way in the realm of spirituality, because after all, it is a large and diverse menu of options, "all leading to the same place". Nothing could be farther from the Bible's portrayal of faithful parents and their duty to children.