I have been much encouraged in recent weeks by some leaders of the Ebenezer Youth Fellowship who took initiative to enquire how they may improve in their service. This shows their seriousness and dedication to serve one another in the Lord.

Youth is the phase when boys and girls learn to grow up to be young men and women. We desire that they should grow up to be men and women who love the Lord. Nevertheless, the young people live in a perilous world where they are constantly pressured to conformed to ungodly ways. Spiritual wickedness in high places seek to tear the youth from biblical truth and cause them to embrace evil and falsehood.

The Youth Fellowship is thus an important part of the church’s ministry to disciple young people in the things of Christ. The church must help them to be well-equipped and ready soldiers for the spiritual battle.

How then should a youth fellowship be like?

A Teaching Fellowship
The youth fellowship must be a place where the Word of God is taught. For the youth to grow spiritually, they must be well-fed with God’s Word. It is also the Word of God that will guard the hearts and minds of the young people in these dangerous times. Thus Paul said to young pastor Timothy, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for re-proof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:14-17)

As a teaching fellowship, the youth fellowship must strive to be a place where “iron sharpeneth iron” (Prov. 27:17). This means that a youth fellowship must engage in a ministry of warning and admonishment. Young people must be taught to be awake to spiritual realities and flee youthful lusts. They should also be instructed in good doctrine and righteousness, and be provoked unto love and good works (Heb. 10:24-25). Leaders of the youth fellowship should not strive for popularity, but be courageous in Christ to do what is necessary to guard the young people from a life of sin and debauchery.

How then should the young people be taught? The book of Acts presents to us the infallible pattern – by the pure spirit-filled authoritative preaching of God’s Word! Sadly, the trend today is to bring in interactive and creative approaches that are based on unbiblical educational psychology rather than the Scriptures. Youth ministry leaders, beware!

Let the youth fellowship be a sanctuary where faithful young men are brought up in the Scriptures so that they may also be able to teach others in the future. “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim. 2:2)

A Praying Fellowship
This is inline with the following injunctions from God’s Word:

“Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” – Luke 18:1b

“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thess. 5:17

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James 5:16

How wonderful it would be that young people would learn from an early age to be wholly dependent on God for everything. This stands contrary to the philosophy of the world which promotes self-confidence and pride. But the Scriptures teaches us God-confidence. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

A Practicing Fellowship

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” – James 1:22

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” – Luke 6:46

“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” – James 2:20

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

A youth fellowship must be a place of living faith and not dead faith. How many a young man is put off because what is taught in God’s Word is not practiced by their leaders? Let all religious hypocrisy be decried!

The youth fellowship ought to be a ministry where young people are properly instructed in spiritual things. Sadly, many a youth ministry is ruined in a bid to be hip and popular. There may be masses of young people attending these activities, but to what avail? Are they being directed to Christ, and to a life of holiness?

Lastly, we must be careful with the appointment of leaders in the youth fellowship. They must be leaders who are spiritually mature and able to set a good example for the youth. When we have immature leaders, it will lead to a generation that will be lost. That would be most tragic.

Brethren, pray for our young people.

Yours sincerely,
Pastor Clement Chew