By Nick Peters at Deeper Waters
Are we failing our youth? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
A recent comment on my post on Do Youth Need Apologetics was about how our youth are being entertained to keep them in the church more instead of being given substance. This is an increasing problem in our church as more and more are falling away and it is not because we lack the resources to help them. We have all we need to win the battles. We’re just not distributing our weapons properly.
Of course, there is something to be said about how we package our material. There is no need to be boring. As much as I love Aristotlean-Thomistic thought, I have said that if someone wants to get a good night’s sleep, then all they need to do is pick up some Aristotle and read it for a little while. His substance is great, but his presentation is incredibly boring. Some have even speculated that Aristotle’s books could be the class notes of those that studied under him.
So making the presentation one that people can pay attention to is important. This does not change the most important part that is being neglected. There is much in the delivery, but the problem is that we are not delivering anything. We are getting youth often caught up in an emotional high and that will only last as long as the emotions do, and we all know that emotions do not last forever.
Of course, this does not mean that emotions are bad. Emotions should be in accordance with our reason. Too often, we have the tail wagging the dog instead of the other way around. If a person no longer feels Christianity is true, then they start thinking it is no longer true, when this is something your emotions cannot tell you. Your emotions can tell you about your response to something, but they cannot tell you about the external something in itself.
Our solution to the apostasy problem is to go with the emotional route. Let’s give our youth even more entertainment! If this works so well, it is a question why we don’t do it in regular services.
Instead of having a sermon, let’s have a comedy show done regularly instead. Adults like to watch Sitcoms after all. Let’s give them a new episode every week. We can make videos of them and let new members to the church see what they missed in past seasons.
Or, we can just find the music the older people in the church will enjoy and put on concerts regularly. We can bring in the greatest names in Contemporary Christian Music. The great entertainment will make sure the adults still keep coming to church.
If that doesn’t work, we can always make sure that every church service has a grand meal to go with it and have everyone bring whatever they like to it.