We live in a fast paced changing world…
Time is flying by and as we look back on our lives – the changes are significant;
- Physical changes
- Relational changes & status
- Geographical changes in terms of where we live
- Vocational changes
- Philosophical changes in how we perceive life
- Attitude changes
- Emotional changes
- Financial changes
The list could go on and on….
Now take a look at the North American Church? Has much really changed in the last 400 years? Compared to the rapid changes within our society – the church has almost stood still.
Once in a while it wakes from its slumber…. attaches itself to a new trend and then heads back to its default mode which states “WHY CHANGE? – THIS IS THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT? – WHY FIX OR CHANGE SOMETHING IF IT’S NOT BROKEN”?
Similar to our education system – the North American church is in need of change – not just a little tweak – or a flash in the pan…but a complete different mindset in how we “DO” church.
Where do we start? I have NO IDEA….but there is one thing that deeply concerns me today as I look at the North American landscape of youth ministry.
As I look back on 20 years of YM I am honestly shocked at how things (forms & methods) have remained the same.
The majority of youth ministries are:
- still defining success by numbers.
- struggling with the Youth pastor turnover rate remains the same due to burnout / expectations / trying to perform / people pleasing / idealism / Savior complex…etc.
- continuing to provide an attractional model of ministry (glorified babysitting) that perpetuates the belief that following Jesus should be FUN and that Jesus is nothing more than your personal “VENDING MACHINE”. Scientific term = MORAL THERAPEUTIC DEISM
- Spending the majority of their resources on programs / the latest “COOL” curriculum / programming / buses / Conferences that are preaching the same thing over and over / a few books from authors who are preaching the same thing over and over who haven’t been in ministry for the past 10 years.
- Continuing to keep kids busy and out of trouble all in the name of evangelism and outreach
- Still out of touch with the TRUE needs of the family unit / structure
- Still believing the lie that the “YOUTH PASTOR” is the greatest spiritual influence in the lives of students.
- Continuing to provide a ‘YOUTH FRIENDLY” worship experience where kids are encouraged to remain focused and engaged for an hour and a half while they become passive spectators while being told they are “ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS WITHIN THE BODY OF CHRIST”.
I could go on and on and on and on……………
A great posting a week back really got me thinking hard about this whole subculture within our church we call “STUDENT MINISTRY”. Check out the article here:
So am I way off here? Have I become jaded? Do I need to move on to a ministry that is more focused on an incarnational experience rather than a “safe” place to hide from the world on a Friday night?
Following Jesus = Safe….don’t get me started!!
I’d love to hear your thoughts…..