This is a question for which there are an endless number of opinions and answers. There isn’t even agreement on how involved the CRC is at this point.
Some believe there is sufficient leadership and resourcing for congregations around youth ministry. Others believe it should be far more of a focal point for the denomination. Still others think the CRC should let congregations and youth leaders minister to students at a local level.
Youth Unlimited is an outstanding ministry that works with a significant number of CRC congregations. YU is not directly funded by the CRC and receives no assessment dollars. It does offer ministry from a Reformed perspective and resources that are incredibly helpful to youth leaders. You might want to check out the Youth Unlimited website if you want to learn more.
I don’t know the answer to my original question. In fact, my opinion has shifted on this question over the years. I’m now less concerned about how much direct focus denominations like the CRC offer to youth ministry and more concerned about what I believe is an urgent need for Reformed youth ministry. So maybe that focus on Reformed ministry needs to come from the CRC or from Faith Alive or Youth Unlimited.
In some respects, it’s kind of like the question ‘Whose job is it to raise up godly children?” In that case, is it up to the parents, teachers, pastors, or youth leaders? The easy answer is that it is up to all of those and everyone in the congregation who committed to raising up the child at their baptism. So is it up to the senior pastor, consistory/council, congregation, or denomination to focus on youth ministry? Again, the simple answer is that it is up to all of those individuals and entities.
Any thoughts from readers on this? Does the CRC do enough to support youth ministry? Does your church do enough? Do you?