Bob K has spoken about having to "modernize" and change to reach out to the young, citing the "success" of Protestant denominations in this regard. Well, a growing body of Protestants are saying that the young also leave their churches in droves as well, and some specifically blame it on "Youth Ministries"
While I wouldn't go so far as to say youth ministries fail simply because they are not scriptural, I do agree that segmenting the church family to present different programs to people of different interests is not what the Church is nor ever was about. The Church exists to assist us in seeking God and making our lives pleasing to Him. "Performance worship" and "Targeted Ministry" are about making church affiliation pleasing to a variety of target audiences. That is, IMHO, where the concept of segregated youth ministry fails, as once the person's interests and needs change with maturity, the entertainment attraction of the youth ministry no longer satisfies them, and unless the congregation has another "show" to present, there is nothing left to attract the person. In short, ego-centric religion is not enduring, as it will only adress a temporal need of the ego. It is the Theo-centric basis of traditional Orthodoxy that is enduring, as it is based in the hope of eternal life, not the here and now.
Orthodoxy has been focused on the person's need to make himself revelant to God. Contemporary evangelical Protestantism is more focused on trying to make God revelant to man, in human terms, not salvific terms. It is easier to fill a building with the "prosperity Gospel" crowd than with a Gospel of love for fellow man, because the former is predicated on today's reward to me, not the sacrifices we are called upon in hope of a greater reward at the Judgement Seat of Christ. In fact, look closely and see how often our Protestant neighbors even mention the notion of "a good defense before the dread Judgement Seat of Christ", as we pray in the Litanies.
Yes, one could say that Orthodoxy is an anachronism. Today's American society is a consumerist, "what's in it for me" culture. If God isn't going to make my here and now better, something else will. If the Community Bible Church doesn't offer a music program that matches my tastes, then why would I go there?
One need only read carefully the words of our Divine Services. We pray as we believe, and our prayer is about health, peace and love on earth as well as an entreaty that we can be pleasing to God as well. We Orthodox address the here and now, but never in isolation from the Judgement Seat. Now, that's what both Scripture and Tradition address, and only we have preserved it. Our task is to present this unaltered message to the world around us, not to pervert the Church to simply tell the world around us what it wants to here. We enter the Church to be graced with a foretaste of the Kingdom of heaven. All too many others enter their church to enjoy the pleasures of the earth.
And thus, "Youth Ministries", as well as "Young Singles Ministries", "Working Mother Ministries", "Retiree Ministries" and so on will fail, because they are pandering to worldly issues, not the Kingdom.