my mail today consisted of nine different opportunities for me to involve my kids in some “ministry opportunity” that is going to change their lives, or change the way they view GOD, or shape them into leaders who will change the world. all i have to do is shell out $265 for the conference fee or $99.95 for the leader’s pack or $350 for the whitewater camp experience. it’s really that easy? all i have to do is bring or buy something for my youth and the youth ministry has accomplished it’s goal? all of the offers came with outstanding advertisements. the promotional materials were full of great testimonies from other ministers who had been smart enough and sensitive enough to the SPIRIT to take their kids to these programs or use the right material. the ads were full of pictures of cool looking teens having a great time. it was all hip, cool, and definitely appealing.
it all made me sick.
how much do we spend in promotion to get out the message that our standards are no different from the world’s? the contents of my mail showed the truth. the advertisements and promo packs told the story of what we really think is valuable. we value flash. this is why our churches are so busy going to national programs rather than doing things together, locally, relationally. this is why our kids are convinced they must have an “experience.” if they didn’t have an “experience” then it was a trip or event that GOD was a part of it? rather than us growing closer and closer by being in the whole process together we sell out and just take our teens to things.
we “ministers” really like to buy into all this stuff. we love the “big events” just as much as the kids. we love the hype, the great “summary” videos, the t-shirts, and crap. we buy right into it all. i know i do. give me some free stuff and i think much better of you. free stuff dismisses allot of my questions. i’m such a whore.
i’m really not opposed to all the “big things.” i think they have their place. i think they can be great tools. but that’s all they are … tools. they’re not ministry. they’re events. the real ministry takes place in the youth ministries that bring the kids to the “big events” and are there when the real problems of life occur. that’s the important stuff.
i just hope i can remember that next time i’m given some cool camp item for free.