01: Youth churches, comprised solely of adolescents, are a growing phenomenon in Great Britain.
The movement got its start in the late 1990s, when an attempt to integrate a youth church plant in London failed to integrate into the larger church. Youth churches (in contrast to youth congregations) are usually not affiliated with any denomination and do not include any children or adults. The most prominent feature of the youth churches is worship, with a heavy use of rock music and “sensory laden.”. The churches tend to be conservative evangelical or charismatic.
A goal of the movement is to attract unchurched youth (only 10 percent of British youth attend services), but there is little proof that non-Christians are attending these churches and evangelism is not a major emphasis. Most of the British denominations, including the Church of England, have youth churches in some form and are considering adopting this strategy as a youth ministry.
A handful of youth churches exist in the U.S., though the greater involvement of American youth in their parents’ churches may make the British movement unique.
(Source: Evangelical Missions Quarterly, January)