That may be due, in part, to the fact that the Bible often holds religious leaders (priests, Pharisees, etc.) to such a high degree of responsibility for the evils in a culture. However, the fact that religious leaders have often been at the forefront of societal problems in the past doesn't prove that we should always assume that they're primarily responsible for problems in the modern world. For one thing, our circumstances today are significantly different. In a nation like the United States or Canada, the large majority of people are literate. We live in an information age, in which people have easy and free or inexpensive access to a lot of information. Etc. In some ways, people aren't as dependent on church leaders today as they were in the past. The degree to which different groups are to blame for societal problems differs from one context to another, and I think religious leaders often get too much blame today while others aren't blamed as much as they ought to be.
Here are some of the youth pastor's comments:
Sending children to a youth ministry is pointless if the parents aren’t actively discipling their kids during the week. Christianity just won’t stick. For example, why do the kids of most immigrants lose the mother tongue of their parents? Well, because they spend at least 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, at school taught in English. All their friends speak English. All the media they watch and listen to is in English. The only time they even hear their mother tongue is at home. And unless the parents make a concerted effort to teach the language and to emphasize its importance, the child will lose the language. They may understand it. But they will barely be able to speak it, it won’t impact their lives, and they will most definitely not pass it on to their kids.
The same thing goes for Christianity. If the parents aren’t actively, every day, teaching and discipling their kids in Christianity it’s content and its importance then there is almost no point in sending them to a youth ministry. If the parents aren’t every day praying with their kids, teaching them how to share their faith, giving them good reasons to be Christians, etc. they are not being good Christian parents....
It has been my experience that the youth with non-Christian parents are often much stronger Christians than those youth who have Christian parents who are failing as Christian parents (which is most of them). See, a youth with non-Christian parents has a good reason for why their parents don’t disciple them in Christianity: they’re non-Christians! Thus, the bad example of the parents only reinforces in the youth that they need to use their own initiative to learn about the Christian faith. But if a youth has Christian parents, and the Christian faith isn’t the most important thing in the parents lives, the youth is going to learn that Christianity is really not that important. If the parents never read their Bible, the youth is going to think that is acceptable. If the parents emphasize school more than Christ, the youth is going to think school is more important, no matter what the parents say about Jesus. If the parents emphasize sports more than Christ, the youth is going to think sports are more important, no matter what the parents say about Jesus. The hypocrisy of the parents will destroy their child’s faith….
As a final point, I’m not saying youth or children ministry is pointless. It is incredibly important. Let me say it again: youth ministry is incredibly important. But there is no reason to spend thousands of dollars hiring a youth pastor in a church that doesn’t already have parents doing their job. Until that happens, save your funds, and use dedicated lay leaders.