John … Thank you for your words of wisdom, listed on your post. I cannot agree with you more. The temptation to simply provide fun and games is great. It will make us popular with the young people but, of course, this is not why we are in youth ministry.
Three years ago as I was seeking a publisher for my book, one “Christian” publisher advised that my book was interesting but did not have enough activities like “paintball” or “dodgeball” in it. Write something that was more fun and they would consider it. I was quite surprised and chose not to change the text because I felt God was calling me to primarily record those activities developed to enhance our youth’s spiritual lives. (http://christianyouthgroup.org/book.html )
We youth leaders face a challenge every time that crowd of teenagers walks into our meeting place: to provide moments of fun while challenging the faith of our young people. It the midst of such activities an atmosphere must be established to create lasting, supportive Christian friendships and to provide an opportunity to worship together. Every Sunday night, when I present my program, I think of these three things- fun, faith and friends and I make sure there is a bit of all three in all programs.
I agree Tim . It has often been said that a government can not legislate morality , but parents and church leaders must surely implant morality or they are failing in their responsibility to the next generation .