WARREN WIERSBEWarren Wiersbe is Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Covington, Kentucky. He served four years with Youth for Christ International, part of that time as Editor of YFC Magazine. He has written often on teen-age problems. His most recent book is A Guidebook for Teens, published by Moody Press.

If Christ’s pastoral commission to Peter were rephrased in terms of today’s population explosion, it would exhort the pastor to register the new babies, provide for the children, keep the teen-agers from turning into juvenile delinquents, counsel the newlyweds, encourage the middle-aged, and do something constructive for the senior citizens. Besides all this, he would have the care of the church!

Most of these assignments the average pastor accepts with faith and courage, except the one relating to the youth. He feels that the babies are no problem; he gets along well with children; the newlyweds and middle-aged appreciate his services and respect his office; the senior saints are happy for any attention. But many pastors shake their heads and look upon teen-agers as problems, not as people.

The Root Of The Problem

The first factor which contributes to the average pastor’s dilemma with his youth is his own general attitude toward teen-agers. If he is honest, he may have to confess that he is resentful of his church’s youth because they do not seem to respect him, because they pose problems he cannot easily solve. In other words, while children and adults give the pastor an opportunity to succeed, a group of teen-agers often poses a threat to his ministerial miracle-working, simply because he does not know what to do with them. More than one adolescent psychologist has suggested that the root of adult-teen difficulty is the adult’s ...

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