Sunday, August 11, 2013

Being relevant and putting bloggers articles in their proper place.

This article really paints an accurate picture of what is happening all over America. Even for churches that try hard NOT to be like this... its still a huge temptation to give in to the "Lets be more relevant... more cool!" motive when planning and making decisions for the church.

As much as I love our Sunday School curriculum that we use with our 7th-12th graders, I see this desire to be relevant to our "hard to reach youth" written in their lessons as well. Nearly EVERY lesson has an activity or discussion question centered around modern day celebrities. Sure, I get it. That is what youth are familiar with. Good teachers are supposed to take what they know and build upon it. But I feel like talking about celebrities within the context of scripture just minimizes the power of God's word. Also, if we are encouraging our youth to "set their minds on things above" then talking about Hollywood gossip just feeds their desire to set their minds on "earthly things." Besides...I don't have a clue who half of those people are anyway.

I have struggled for a long time as the wife of a youth minister. I love our teenagers, but have always felt like I don't relate to them well. I didn't even relate well to teenagers when I WAS a teenager. I've struggled with thoughts about not being effective, them not liking me, and beating myself up over a teen who doesn't want to come back to church. I've learned that relevance to youth cannot ever take place of me loving them and more importantly God loving them.

Doug Fields, former youth pastor of Saddleback church, preached on this topic at the SYM conference a few years ago. He warned us to stop trying to be so relevant. We don't have to make it relevant because Jesus IS relevant to teenagers. He has everything that teens are looking for in life.

The above article is a great read...However... I'm going to begin a second soap box now about articles like the one above....

Facebook has had many phases over the past year or two. There has been the phase of, "Like if you agree, Comment if you don't" on all political issues. There is the pictures of ladies dressed in the 1800s sitting on "settees" with a funny quote that was obviously not said in that time era. And here lately, the big thing has been links to articles from bloggers. The kinds of articles I'm seeing lately either have to do with being a mom (like the ones saying that you don't have to be a pinterest pooping super-mom) or they have to do with how to reach today's changing millennials and culture for Christ.

As thought provoking and helpful as these articles are, I fear that too many well intentioned Christians (myself included) are spending more time reading these than the Bible itself. That we are placing more value on what a talented blogger says about these topics rather than what God says. When we know that we are struggling to be a good mom or that we are struggling in the ministry and church to reach those around us, we run straight to a good Christian blogger instead of running to our knees in prayer...asking for God's mercy and strength to guide us. May we never value a human's words more than the life-changing words of God himself.

And yet, this very blog post is kind of ironic. I'm urging all of us to stop dwelling on bloggers words in my own blog post. :/