Youth Ministry “Trick” #3

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“Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” -Proverbs 22:10

This “trick” is definitely a tricky one.  Don’t read this one until you have read Youth Ministry Trick #2 on DISCERNMENT.  Really, it would be like jumping into a full year course in the spring semester.  Okay, fine, you can read on, but don’t act upon this one until you’ve gotten Trick #2 down.  And Trick #1 for that matter.

Read Proverbs 22:10 again.  Yeah, struggle with it, spend some time trying to find the loop holes, look up the Hebrew, all that.  Then when you’re done leaning unto thine own understanding… trust it.  For whatever reason, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one, my tendency is to coddle a rebel.  Even cater to him or her.  Make them comfortable in an attempt to win them over.  It’s a tendency I have to fight.  Once I have discerned that the bad attitude of a teen is not from immaturity or deep emotional pain, it is my responsibility to recognize them as a scorner…

And cast them out.

I have worked with some pretty carnal kids.  In a weird way, some of the best relationships I’ve formed were with carnal kids.  They definitely didn’t love the Lord, but they had good attitudes and conformed to the rules.  I enjoyed their company and many actually helped the atmosphere of our youth group by being quick to volunteer for ice breakers and playing their hearts out in a silly variation of kick ball.  I’m thankful the Lord hasn’t commanded me to cast out the carnal Christian (which would be the vast majority of most congregations, by the way).  I’m not talking about them.  I can work with a carnal kid who has a decent attitude.

Scorners are a whole ‘nother story.  Yeah, they’re carnal, but, what’s worse, they’re contagious.  A scorner is one who openly mocks.  The bad attitude of their heart is exposed by their lips.  They complain about the rules, criticize the preaching, and refuse to have a good time.  The command of Proverbs 22 also comes with a promise.  When the scorner goes out the door, contention, strife and reproach follow.  I’ve seen it happen.  I’ve even had some of my volunteer staff tell me how they’ve sensed the spirit of an activity completely (almost instantly) change by removing just one person.

You want a warm, fun atmosphere.  You want kids to be unhampered in their worship of God.  You want unity and tenderness.  You want there to be the prevailing attitude that serving Christ is the most important thing.

Cast out the scorner.

Didja notice the scorners pictured above?  Just look at them!  Don’t they just scream scorner?  Actually, if you look up the word scorner in a good concordance, their picture is right there.  You can nickname them “Lil Miss Contention” and “Princess Strife”!  They just think they’re better than everyone because they’re… tall.

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22 comments so far

  1. Jane on

    Yea, it’s written all over them!
    Tall people, they think so highly of themselves!

  2. S.J. on

    Yeah! You know what, those scorners pictured above, (I won’t even dare to name them), they make me feel soo small. They just belittle me all the time… *sigh*

  3. Renae on

    LOL i love the pic! They definitely look like “bad girls”!

  4. jaynepomuceno on

    They just think they’re all high and mighty!

  5. greg on

    makes sense but what do you suggest if your youth group has just 6 and there all scorners?

  6. lonestarpreacher on

    This post is so true. Before I took the church here in Abilene, I was a youth pastor in Arkansas. I had a scorner who was a real thorn in my side. He also happened to be the pastor’s son. What would you say to a younger youth pastor facing a situaton like that?

  7. jaynepomuceno on

    lonestar, my recommendation would be to leave. Seriously. How did you handle that?

    Greg, great question. I’ll need to get back to you on that one…

  8. dar... on

    hahaha yup thats them alrite! lol

  9. jenmarie on

    Aww, poor Heather and Sarah…
    I love that pic! 🙂

  10. jaynepomuceno on

    Okay, Greg, it took me a night of prayer and fasting, but I think I’ve got it. Maybe. If they really are all scorners, then you don’t have to worry about a decent kid getting infected. Alot of times, kids become scorners because they’ve been burned by adults (or think they have). Show them you’re real. Work hard on getting some fresh blood in. But then again, you don’t want them infecting new kids who are truly searching. So… uh…

    Aw, man, I’m no Dr. Laura. Anyone else?

  11. heather on

    So what if we are scorners what are goin’ to do about it kick us out? Go ahead and try.

  12. jaynepomuceno on

    Case in point, the typical reaction of a scorner!

  13. James on

    Thanks Jay. Matt just had a meeting with our youth staff talking about Discretion, out of Proverbs 2:11; “Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:”

  14. Renae on

    Jay, you’ve totally got them pegged! I think that you should kick them out as fast as possible. Hurry, before they start infecting everyone else!

  15. jenmarie on

    lol, aww, these girls are good. 🙂 (‘cept when they’re trying to marry me off!!) There might be a few others though…. 🙂

  16. RoBsTeR on

    hey.. they totally are scorners.. i could read it all over them ever since i got here.. hhmmm… *thinking*.. maybe we could have a “casting out” ceremony.. ha.. that would be awesome.. anyway.. this came from the heart.. HEATHER!! so could article jay.. it really opened my eyes.

  17. RoBsTeR on

    *good* not could.. sorry

  18. Ariel on

    hey i think i took this pic. i agree. i think this pic goes perfectly together with the word scorners. they think they’re so bad lol…

  19. Matt Dubya on

    In response to Greg, I think it would really help to try to reach them individually, rather than focusing on the group as a whole. In my experience, people feed off each other; no one wants to stand alone against a majority. My guess is that not all of them really do feel the same way, but are rather following someone’s lead. If you were able to reach even just one of them, it would go a long way towards reaching the rest…

  20. Becka on

    Great article. Thankfully, right now, we don’t have any scorners in our group. We have a very sweet group of kids. We had one who was borderline scorner, but they ended up leaving the church, so problem solved. 🙂

  21. jaynepomuceno on

    Matt… that’s about the stupidest thing I’ve ever read!! What in the world are you thinking?? Just kidding, very good thoughts there! You almost sound like a seasoned youth leader. Don’t even try to take my job!

  22. lonestarpreacher on

    Back to the PK scorner I actually did leave. Just wondered what you would think.


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