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June 18, 2013

Comments

Did the new method help keep young people in the faith?

Well said. A sobering reminder of what is the reality for many youth.

The only thing I would add is that parents have as much, if not more, responsibility to instill these values in their children. Youth pastor friends of mine have lamented how quite often they are expected to instill in the youth in just a few hours time each week what often not being lived out and modeled at home by the parents. Parents are ultimately responsible for their child's spiritual upbringing.

Darth Dutch

I agree with Darth Dutch - if we're relying on Sunday School / Youth Pastors to teach our kids faith, we've already lost the battle.

Secondly, I'm not sure why this has to be a dichotomy. It seems to me Jesus used BOTH experience and content. I don't see why we have to choose. After all, my Bible doesn't say "And David grew bored, because God was once again rambling." Jesus was the greatest, most dynamic teacher in history, we see that through his teach metaphors and his powerful, challenging style. I'm sure if YouTube and rock music existed 2000 years ago, he would have found a way to use those as well.

If we use only experience or only content, I think we weaken the message.

@ MeaningToWork,

Not to be cutesy, but I think it all depends on the content of the experience.

Doing things like strobe lights, smoke machines, or lasers will not edify the Body of Christ. Permissible, but not beneficial.

Now if the video both pertains to, and directly furthers the Biblical message, glory to God. But ancillary ambiance to grab people's attention is just pandering.

(We are talking about the church / youth group setting, right? That was the OP's context.)

I agree there's nothing inherently bad about technology. But those of us in a formal church ministry need to put any "tools" we consider using fully onto God's spiritual altar first, before bringing them anywhere near the congregational altar. (Or the budget committee, for that matter!) By this I mean to surrender it fully to Him as an offering, and if our sustained conviction does not falter under the scrutiny of the Spirit and the word, through prayer and counsel, then I say still proceed with caution, and focus all attention on the Messenger.

That's a great post, and really halpful for those in youth ministry. I think you've nailed the two reasons people 'walk away' or are scared to commit to Christianity in the first place.

We must deal with each though. I'm not content to say that their poor choices are on them, and their education is on us. Firstly, I don't think either are on us, but that's a theological tangent. Most importantly, if our youth think that alcohol, sex, or material posessions are greater than Jesus, then they don't know Jesus, right? So as well as teaching them why this stuff is quite believable, we need to teach them that the gospel is the answer to all their deepest longings, and will give what their idols promise to, but never will.

We have to do both. But great post!

Dan

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