General Ministry
Josh Griffin

From time to time I post a question that comes into the blog for YOU to answer. What advice would you give this youth pastor who is asking about traditions in their youth ministry. Weigh in!

I’m working on the curriculum for our Confirmation class and was just wondering how you handle tradition out here (like the Apostle’s Creed, Wesleyan Quadrilateral, liturgy colors….etc.). We have both a traditional and contemporary service but the majority of our students attend the contemporary service. We very rarely say the Lord’s Prayer and have never said the Apostle’s Creed (in fact I can’t remember when the last time we said it in traditional services either). Just wanted to know how you fit this into your world, at what age, or if not at all. I love the Methodist tradition and teachings of John Wesley, but I can also understand why students get bored by it, especially when they never see it actively displayed in our church.

Thoughts? Your turn!


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  • Joe Gormong says:

    I am on staff at Faith Wesleyan Church. We have noticed a pattern that a lot of our students are graduating and have had not classes towards membership in the Wesleyan Church. We just don’t cover enough of the beliefs to feel comfortable bringing them into membership with out having the knowledge of what we believe as Wesleyans. We are working on material right now that will prepare them with knowledge of the bible and our membership beliefs. We will offer it during Sunday School every 3 years as to make sure we connect with a student on his or her Jr. or Sr. year If i student is 100% connected they will possibly catch it twice but the refresher course will be good for them.

    Joe Gormong

  • Jeff says:

    I’m at a Baptist Church who don’t have a lot of rituals and traditions, but it isn’t just our actions or procedures that I’m thinking about but ensuring that we are passing down the same theology and values to our students that our church holds. We are seeing a strong emphasis on not creating silo ministries that can cause students to graduate from church when they graduate from high school. We emphasize the same values, while sometime “youth-enizing” the delivery and content to engage our students without changing the biblical values that are present.

    If the Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s prayer, Lent, Advent, etc. are part of our church, I would think we would want to explain and magnify these to help our students become strong believing members of our churches, continuing after youth ministry.

  • Daniel says:

    I come from a Lutheran background and the times we have confirmation vary with every congregation. Most of the time, it’s held for an hour before Wednesday night Bible Studies (allowing the 7th and 8th graders to attend youth group). The church I work at now has confirmation in place of Sunday School and is led by the head pastor. As far as your question is concerned, I would agree with Jeff by saying that there is some value in passing down doctrines, creeds, and pieces of Church history to the next generation. While your church may not use the creeds often (if at all), many congregations do have it incorporated in their service. The challenge I think you will most likely face is how to make this engaging and interactive for the students.
    As to how we incorporate this into the class, we make sure to point out the content of creeds (like the Apostle’s and Nicene). We make sure that they know that it’s not just a thing we do during church, but a confession of what we believe the Bible says. If you use a catechism, it’s a great source for solid Biblical teaching (I’m biased towards Luther’s Catechism, myself). At the very least, it’s a good extra source to use

  • Daniel says:

    …while you prepare your own material. Good luck and I hope this comment helps!

  • Charlie says:

    I am a youth pastor in the Church of the Nazarene. As far as tradition goes, before baptism we state the Apostles Creed and, in my church at least, after communion we pray the Lord’s Prayer. However, this varies from church to church. People are allowed to join the church at any age, however, they go through a few weeks of learning the Articles of Faith and other important Nazarene information. Sanctification is a big deal in the Nazarene church and is taught often. I feel this gives teenagers hope that the Christian life is more than just going to church and reading your Bible. It enables them to have a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ. I do agree that they need to be passed down, but can be taught in a modern way and at the right time of the year. I personally feel that students want to know the meaning of these “traditional” things and why the church holds them so sacred.

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