I read an article in which author David Scott was quoted as saying, "Education must be looked at as an investment, not a cost. The cost of not doing so is a price too dear to pay." I would add that Christian education is an even more important investment and am glad so many parents send their children to Bethany Academy - which seems to show their agreement with this.
Also, preliminary information from a Youth Specialties and YouthWorks report was released supporting the data that nearly 60% of youth leave the church after high school. The report identifies the "ubiquity and onslaught of information and competing worldviews, as well as a greater resistance to the gospel among their peers make it harder for young people to find meaning in a complex culture."
The report states the "fact that teens lack commitment [in their youth ministries] due to general busyness, and the broad scarcity of student leaders, suggests that relationships and engagement in church are not reaching sufficient depth. Youth leaders are right to prioritize discipleship and relationship building."
Christian schools are in a unique position to support youth ministries as we are able to help grow disciples through strong relationships - which takes time to develop. Time we have that youth ministries do not.
As we help grow our students in their faith, let's also encourage them to exercise their leadership skills in their youth programs, not shy away from them because they have already gone to chapel or have gotten enough "Bible" or "religion" through their classes, and see what God will do through them - even helping grow other disciples!
Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:18-20