David Platt - The Church Owes Apology For Professional Youth Discipleship

Here is an excerpt from David Platt's excellent sermon, "The Gospel and Parents," delivered at his church a few years ago. In this message Platt apologizes for the ways we have done youth ministry:  

This is where I need to as the pastor of an American church in the 21st Century especially; I need to apologize to you as parents. We live in an age of professionalism where we are tempted to hire out even parental responsibilities. We want our son to excel in sports and so we hire a professional to train him in certain skills. We want our daughter to get into the best college and so we hire a tutor who will help her get that SAT score up. 

We transfer this over into the church. We want our children to be good Christians and so we hire a youth minister and a children’s minister to do that for us. What we’re going to see in the Word today is that from the very beginning of God’s people He has established that the home would be the central delivery system for the transfer of his truth from one generation to another. 

With the way we have approached families even in the church, I’m convinced that we are encouraging families to abdicate our responsibilities in our children’s lives in favor of a youth minister or a children’s minister doing that for us. 

I want you to hear very loud and very clear from the very beginning it is not the children’s minister’s job to evangelize your children. It is your job to evangelize your children. It is not the youth minister’s job to disciple your children. It is your job to disciple your children and we cannot relegate the discipling function of the family to a children’s minister, a youth ministry, even a Christian school. You are the primary agent for the discipleship of your children. 

I want to be careful here because we’ve created this. This is why I’m apologizing. Why I’m saying we need to repent because we’ve created this mentality. When you come to a building like this and you say, ‘Well go drop your kid off here and your youth student off here’ and you even have people – we almost – we don’t say it out loud, but that's basically what we’re saying, we’ll take care of your kids. We’re professionals at this thing with kids. You don’t need to try this at home. It’s wrong. It’s unbiblical and it’s ineffective because it’s not God’s means for the discipleship of your children. 

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