The statistics are staggering. Young people are walking away from the church in unprecedented numbers. I’ve seen projections that approximately only four percent of Christian youth will retain their faith after finishing college. What could possibly cause such a massive abandonment of a promise for eternal life?
One editorial suggests something that might cause your eyebrows to defy gravity. The author’s allegation is that youth groups, which supposedly are created to keep the youth in the church, are actually part of the problem with the exodus. You can read that claim here:
Here’s the problem as I see it. People who are trying to make the gospel more palatable to young people strive to create an atmosphere where church is fun and even hip. They’ve gone to lengths that could lead one to question whether they’re bringing the world into the church instead of taking the church into the world as Christ commissioned us to do.
To tell you the truth, I have mixed feelings about this topic. I was a young man once. I know the boredom of sitting in a seat and listening to someone drone on, dealing with topics which often seem to be irrelevant to my life. Actually, I sometimes feel the same way as an adult. I have sometimes pondered whether God chose to punish us by forcing us to listen to sermons. I don’t think so. Pastors made that decision.
What about this idea? What if church was interactive? Do you learn better in a lecture environment or a discussion group? God is not an author of chaos, so there has to be some foundational infrastructure, but can pastors get a little creative? There are certain lessons that people, especially youngsters, need to absorb. I try to preach sermons through my books and movies. I think lessons are more palatable when shown through action and dialogue instead of through lecturing. Would it break some divine law if once in a while a pastor altered the routine, perhaps by having small group prayer or discussions, or perhaps even taking the whole church outside the walls to minister to others? I don’t think so. Kids get enough lectures in school. Give them the gospel in a different format, but don’t water down the gospel in the attempt to make it more acceptable to kids or adults. The gospel was not meant to be lived with a long face. It can be and should be pleasurable to grow in Christ, but the goal should never be the pleasure. That needs to be a byproduct of our seeking Him who made us and loves us.
On a side note: Check out this fascinating video on substitute blood taken from sea worms and bacteria: http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/wallstreet-research/video/SeaCreatures_WS…