March 07, 2007

Get Real

I think one reason I was nervous about last Sunday's youth group (and am now starting to get a little nervous about next Sunday's) is that with youth, it has to be real. Which is to say, if what we do isn't applicable to their lives, or is couched in meaningless theological/church jargon, it won't work. And if it doesn't work, they won't come.

It's easy to get complacent when planning Sunday morning worship. Many of the "old-timers" will come and faithfully find their place in the pews whether worship is real and meaningful or not. Their sense of loyalty to church will keep 'em coming, even if worship is consistently mediocre. God bless 'em for that. God help the worship planners who rest on their laurels, doing the same thing week after week after week until it loses its meaning and becomes a ritual that is done almost automatically.

You can get away with planning a worship for veteran Christians like that. That doesn't mean that you should, but you could. You won't attract many newcomers, but your faithful will continue to come. But you can't plan an event like that for youth. If the event is boring, meaningless, or mediocre, the youth won't come. And they'll probably tell you, "This is boring. This is stupid."

I believe it was the founder of YoungLife who said, "It's a sin to bore a youth." Actually, it's probably a sin to bore anyone when presenting the gospel, but it's easier to get away with it with older age groups.

At our youth group meeting last Sunday, only three youth were present, and one of them spent most of the time outside talking on his cell phone. But I think the event was a success. We had fun. The ones who were there want to come back, and I think they'll encourage some friends to come. We'll see. I'm praying hard for this, for them, for me. If you feel led to say a little prayer for us, let me know by leaving a comment, and tell me where you live. I'd love to let the kids know they're being prayed for from people all over the world.

If you want to read an article about the difference an adult can make in a young person's life, check out this article.

1 comment:

youthminister66 said...

I really appreciate your attitude. Some pastors might say "3 kids? This isn't worth the effort." But every young person matters. And I agree that we have to find ways to make the gospel real and personal and immediate for youth. I'm enjoying reading your blog.