As technology and social capabilities grow, the chance of a church service engaging a student seems to shrink.
This scares the crap out of me.
I’m not even a youth pastor yet and I sometimes worry that students could care less about church. I don’t know what I will do the first time I can hear a full blown conversation going on while I’m preaching. I won’t know how to react when a kid answers his phone during a service. I sure as heck won’t know how to react if I can hear a kids iPod playing over the video on the screen.
Now, I pray and hope to have an incredible team of leaders someday that will defuse these situations before I explode, but it still concerns me. It concerns me because technology never stops growing, friends never stop talking, parents never stop calling during service, and students will always have short attention spans.
I never want a youth service to feel like it’s doing it’s best to compete with what’s outside the walls of the church. I believe that mindset results in cheesy presentation and superficial spirituality. I want a youth service that grabs hold of students and takes them from every struggle and care they face in the world and sets them on the lap of the Creator. I want a service that is led completely by the Holy Spirit but still connects with today’s culture. I want the videos, interactive worship, incredible presentations, and life changing message; but I want it all to come from the Heart.
I believe that is the kind of service that grabs God’s attention.
21 “I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. 22 I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. 23 I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.When was the last time you sang to me?” (Amos 6//Message)
Shane Sanchez is a youth worker and blogger. Check out his blog here.