Youth ministry needs to slay its sacred cows.
Youth workers gripe to high heaven about how church leaders are stuck in a rut. I’m wondering when we’ll ever take a serious look at our own pavement.
Maybe it’s gone unnoticed, but the worship movement….not really connecting with the Millennial generation in a true and meaningful way. Oh – and the props and backdrops we spend so much time and energy on….usually unnoticed beyond the cursory glance. And youth ‘talks’? Don’t even get me started. Those aren’t talks…because talking implies conversation — and usually, we’re the only ones doing the talking. They’re sermons. We need to end the pastor-practicing and start engaging in conversation.
The days of hip, cool youth ministry are dead – because Millennials have actually made space for everyone at the table. They don’t care if it’s hip, awesome, entertaining, excellent, or quippy. (Actually, they do kind of enjoy quippy.) But what they embrace most is authenticity, respect, conversation, community, relationship and the greater cause.
Sadly, many youth ministries are so busy riding our sacred cows….we aren’t even in the same pasture. As long as we hashtag it…we’re good.
I’d love to see a youth ministry throw it all out and start from scratch. Retool how worship gets accomplished….maybe it’s a little more scriptural than ‘relevant music’ and ‘youth bands’. Maybe it’s life change. I’d love to see sermons morph from one-way pipelines of information to a flood of honest, uncloaked conversations. I’d love to see rooms more focused toward one another than the staging area…eliminating the need to props and backdrops. I know – maybe we actually put something tangible and touchable within the grasp of students that might cause them to think, grapple, question, or reinforce. And if we’re going to use hashtags for real – let’s make them something that matters, not just a tool for social promotion.
Someone has said ‘sacred cows make the best burgers.’ FALSE! That meat is rancid and covered in maggots. Just throw it out.