Monday, December 5, 2011

An Illustration for Yesterday's Post

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, and the goal of this Blog is brevity, here is an illustration that may make yesterdays thoughts clearer:

“Youth Ministry” is a frustrating mix of leading people to truth that can change their lives and “pre-discipleship” using a heavy dose of legalism. Part of that is dictated by the fact that you deal mostly with teenagers who are not yet in Christ and therefore can’t be expected to behave as He wishes. Mostly, however, it is due to the fact that you are dealing with a bunch of parents who insist that your job is to keep their kids religiously in check and therefore out of trouble and decidedly NOT in helping their kids be passionate for God.

You see, “American Evangelical Legalism” is made up by rules that will keep people from making the kinds of mistakes that will be a detriment to their financial and professional lives. You can be an Evangelical Legalist and still follow the tenants of materialism and self-fulfillment. On the other hand, when you become passionate for God you tend to do the same sort of things the legalist do—your passion for the things of God diminishes your desire to do the things that displease Him—but you also begin to frown on things like pursuing a career purely for the money and security. Who knows, you may end up working with poor people or moving to a foreign country!

Don’t misunderstand, it is possible and there are ministries out there that do youth ministry right. It just isn’t the norm amongst the largest and most popular churches.

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