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  • A Weed in the Church: How a culture of age segregation is harming the next generation, fragmenting the family, and dividing the church. While almost everyone involved in youth ministry agrees there is a crisis, not everyone agrees on its severity nor has the same diagnosis. A Weed in the Church suggests that this well-recognized crisis has a specific cause, which will surprise many. Brown argues that while Scripture defines and wholeheartedly encourages youth discipleship, the premises of modern youth ministry are at odds with biblical teaching and must be reformed. A Weed in the Church unfolds the history, the nature, the effect, and the root problem of systematic, age-segregated youth ministry and presents helpful solutions built on Scripture's sure foundation.

     

    Table of Contents:

    Acknowledgements
    Dedication
    Introduction

    Section I - Orientation
    1. A Child of the Movement
    2. State of Emergency
    3. Definitions
    4. Qualifications
    5. Interpreting Scripture

    Section II - Evaluating Historical Roots and Current Landscapes
    6. The Rise of Modern Youth Ministry
    7. The Fruit of Modern Youth Ministry

    Section III - Multiplying Biblical Solutions for the Discipleship of Youth
    8. Unless the Lord Builds the House
    9. The Family-Centered Nature of Youth Discipleship
    10. Corporate Gatherings for the Discipleship of Youth
    11. Personal Ministry in the Church
    12. The Content of Instruction
    13. The Results of Neglecting Youth Discipleship

    Section IV - Answering Objections
    14. Classifying the Arguments
    15. Arguments from the Bible
    16. Pragmatic Objections and Experiential Arguments

    Section V - Implementation
    17. Pulling
    18. Planting
    19. Gardening in Christ's Vineyard
    Bibliography

  • Format: .MOBI Download
    Download Size: 342 KB

  • “As I have watched what has happened in most of our churches, I have become convinced that Scott Brown is far more right than wrong on this matter. I, for one, am extraordinarily grateful that he has gone to the trouble to write this book and articulate the position. May God grant that many will listen to it before our families are totally lost and with them the churches also. Our families simply must have some time when they worship and study together.” 
    Dr. Paige Patterson 
    President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

    “The tragic fruit of families torn apart by their churches—which should be holding them together—surrounds us on every side. The experiment of age segregation in the churches has run its course, and the findings are clear. It’s time to pull the plug and go back to the old paths, the path God prescribed to Abraham, that fathers are to command our children to keep the ways of Jahweh by doing righteousness and justice, so that He may bring us what He has promised us (Genesis 18:19). Scott Brown’s book is a clarion call for just that—and it has arrived at a crucial time.” 
    E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. 
    Church historian, theologian, founder and national spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation

    “Scott Brown offers a thoughtful and gracious challenge to the prevailing model of systematic age-segregation in church. The author’s heart beats with passion for the authority and sufficiency of the Bible. He issues a clarion call for fathers to take responsibility for raising their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. He also traces the historic roots of the modern philosophy which would isolate children from the formative influence of godly fathers. At the same time, he honors the God-ordained role of the elders of the church in shepherding the flock of God. One does not have to embrace all of his conclusions to realize that his book can make a helpful contribution to the current debate on how to disciple our children. This provocative book will challenge you to ask whether you are doing God’s work in God’s way.” 
    Dr. Joel R. Beeke 
    President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

    “In many areas of theology, there has been a stirring in the hearts of men to subject their beliefs and practices to the tenant of sola scriptura. However, the question still remains as to whether or not we will subject our view of the church and the family to this same principle. Any hope for a genuine reformation in our time will die in its infancy if we do not allow the Scriptures to permeate and govern every aspect of our lives. A Weed in the Church is something of a “Wittenberg Door” for the evangelical community. It calls us to examine our present practices in light of the Scriptures and to make the necessary changes to bring the church and the family in conformity to them. May God give us the wisdom and courage to do so.” 
    Paul Washer 
    Director, Heart Cry Missionary Society

    “Biblical worship, discipleship, and unity should be the goal of the blood- bought churches of Jesus Christ. One heart, one soul, one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father—Christ’s eternally loved churches should earnestly seek this oneness. Some have embraced the novel idea that programmatic age-segregation is the best way to achieve this. Scott Brown disagrees. He believes there is a better way: age- integration. He makes his case by examining Scripture and history in this challenging, thought-provoking book. Read it carefully and prayerfully: Sunday School, children’s church, and youth groups will never quite look the same if you do.” 
    Jeff Pollard 
    Pastor of Mount Zion Bible Church

    “This book has far-reaching implications for Christianity, worldwide. Scott Brown explains how the traditions of men make the laws of God of none effect in the discipleship of our children. Is there any wonder why the faith has so little potency to effect the generations? May God bring repentance to the church in the west!” 
    Kevin Swanson 
    Pastor of Reformation Church and President of Generations with Vision

    A Weed in the Church is honest, thoughtful and biblical. In the best Reformation tradition it considers our own traditions in the light of God’s Word. And then, directs us to obedience to the Word. I commend it highly.”
    RC Sproul Jr. 
    Founder of Highlands Ministries, and a teaching fellow at Ligonier Ministries. 

    In the book "A Weed In The Church", author Scott Brown has struck a nerve, and many churches are screaming in pain. The reason? Youth programs are simply not working. The scary part of the mix: instead of churches seeking the solutions from the Scriptures, many in church leadership are spending time and effort to "keep' the failing programs functioning for financial, employment, or prideful reasons.

    Meanwhile, the loss of Christian youth--and their families--continues. Brown believes that the time has come to realize that the ation and splitting up' of families in the church setting needs to end, and the home needs to take its rightful place in the biblical teaching and training role. His book centers upon what God has already said in the Scriptures about the family as HE set it down, not as how society 'dictates' to the church the various and sundry social definitions of what a family should be.

    A Weed In The Church" (2010, 286 pages, The National Center for Family- Integrated Churches Publications) is a controversial work to say the least. It is NOT for heart in church leadership, but for those who have seen the lack of movement in the "old' model of Sunday School as it exists today, and want to see a vibrant, God-blessed change and revival in their churches. Chapters include "Interpreting Scripture "The Family Centered Nature of Youth Discipleship", and "Results of Neglecting Youth Discipleship." 

    To keep on doing the same old thing when the times change about you--and a new thing is called for to meet these challenges -is the height of folly. Brown's work is not for the timid, but for those churches--and Pastors--who want to see the families in their congregations grow stronger, instead of weaker. It is an excellent addition to one's library.
    Mike Ramey
    Minister, Reviewer and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. On Line Reviews brings current and lesser-known titles to public light in the quest to re-kindle a love for reading in a sea of modern technology 

    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.
    A. Konvalin

    If you ever wondered why "church" doesn't seem to be "working" for your kids, read this and really think about the roles laid down in Scripture. Does the current way we "do church" line up with Scripture?
    K. Koglin



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About the Author

Scott Brown

Scott T. Brown is the director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches and elder at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Scott graduated from California State University in Fullerton with a degree in History and received a Master of Divinity degree from Talbot School of Theology.  He gives his time to expository preaching and local pastoral ministry, as well as conferences on Biblical doctrine and church and family reformation. He and his wife Deborah have four grown children. Scott helps people think through the two greatest evangelistic and discipleship institutions God has provided — the church and the family.