Its not often you get an essay submitted that makes you want to read on after the first paragraph, but this one sure did! Penny, one of our .acom students from the first Forge intensive has given me her permission to post it on here.
If you are or have been a youth pastor then you will know this scene only too well…
“the last straw??
“The guy with the smoke machine rang and he’s not coming anymore, it’s gonna be crap without it,” says the intern. It’s 3 hours before a rag-tag bunch of youth arrive at our church. The boys will ogle at the underdressed ‘potentials’ from other churches as they squeal and cavort around. There will be a few blokes smoking pot ’round the back and girls crying in the dunnies. The dodgy strains of an electric guitar will play too loudly over the sound system. Pizza will be thrown, dozens of sms’s sent…as the hormones rage on. Close to the end of the night someone will get up and share the gospel. Emotive music will play and kids will tick on bits of paper that they want to follow Jesus. The leaders will get excited at the ‘great harvest’, but in two months from now, caught up in the whirlwind of organising the next big thing, we won’t even be able to remember the names of the kids- the kids who we prayed for and hugged as they cried their eyes out.
Lord, there must be a better way. Surely?
Ouch… I’ve been there done that… Penny goes on to look at a better way to ‘do youth ministry’ and does a great job of it.