If the kids are not in a church youth group as they get to be teenagers, will they be tempted to hang out with worldly kids, get involved with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll?

Short answer: Yes.

But… Kids will always be tempted to hang out with worldly kids and get into trouble, with or without a church youth group. I’m guessing that all youth ministers would say that parents are the only real protection against getting mixed up with evil companions. Common sense tells us that the more healthy options our children have, the easier it is to keep them out of the unhealthy activities. So it helps to have a vibrant church youth program.

This excerpt from Lagard Smith’s Radical Restoration, however, gives perspective on how we have let the church take responsibility for our youth.

The role assumed by the church in the past several decades is one that is in loco parentis – i.e., taking the place of parents. (Which is not unlike the role which government has assumed in secular education, juvenile justice, and family law. )  It is yet another instance of a toppled hierarchy and the relinquishment of God-ordained responsibility. Everywhere you look, some one is passing the buck. Parents pass it to the church; the church passes it to the elders; the elders pass it to the youth minIsters. Yet this is only the latest incarnation of a long-standing practice of responsibility avoidance.
Page 232, Radical Restoration, F. Lagard Smith

As all of these “kids” questions conclude, it is the parent’s responsibility. Parents must seek out positive environments and opportunities for their kids. They must keep vigil over their kid’s peer choices.


1 Cor 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Prov 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

New International Version (NIV)
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