Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Dangers and Foolishness of Relevance - Youth Ministry Silliness

A friend of mine told me about how he tried to encourage his niece to attend his church. He thought, by introducing her to the youth pastor, she might, somehow, become “plugged in” to the group.

She attended for about three or four weeks and then dropped out of sight. When he asked her about it, she told him it was a waste of her time and was mostly a lot of foolishness. She reported an incident one evening where several of the guys were “chug-a-lugging” chocolate milk to see who could down the most before puking.

When he told me that story, I remembered several blog posts I have read recently on the subject. One in particular was written by a couple former youth ministers on their blog site, Rethinking Youth Ministry. It was titled, The Biggest Mistakes I've Made In Youth Ministry. Mistake number two is reproduced in part, here.

PLAYING “KIDDIE” VERSIONS OF COLLEGE CHUG-A-LUG GAMES - Early in my career, I came across a game in a youth ministry book that looked like fun. …invite several students to compete to see who could be first to drink their entire two-liter (soda) through a tube while the bottle is held above their heads. …a boy who was visiting that night, really made an attempt to drink the entire bottle through the tube. He drank about half the bottle when he discovered that all that carbonation was too much and he promptly puked up on the church parking lot. It was not too long after that when I discovered that this game is actually a non-alcoholic version of a fraternity drinking game!

Here is an excerpt from an article posted at one of my favorite blogsites, Old Truth that is really worth reading.


“Do you know if your child has ever played "Bedpan" Relay? Or been asked to lick peanut butter out of someone's armpit? Or been dared to drink what someone has chewed up and spit out? Has your daughter been introduced to a game of "Christian Strip" or a game of "feeling" the legs of five guys when blindfolded to see if she can identify which legs belong to whom? Even though these objectionable games are out of character for Christians, they are being used by some undiscerning youth group leaders with teens.”

This complete post with comments can be viewed here.

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