Wednesday Night Live Extended – 11/7/2007
Or church hosts a dinner for members of the body (and anyone else who would like to stop in) each Wednesday before our Wednesday evening programs get started. Each group within the church (men’s group, youth group, Sunday School classes, etc.) are encouraged o select an evening to be responsible for providing dinner, preparing it and cleaning up afterwards. Last night was our night.
We had 16 teens show up at various stages to help out, some stopping at my house directly after school, some not able to make it until just after dinner had started. And there was such complaining about helping set up, prepare and clean up that I was beginning to wonder if the teens had traded places with the 3rd graders. And not the normal teens I might expect to complain, but the ones who would fit into the “helpful” category. Needless to say, this distresses me. In fact, only 3 of the 16 willingly stayed afterwards to help with dishes and other kitchen tasks.
The rest of the evening led me toward the fuller picture of where our teens need to head this year. Since it was a different evening, I had only planned to watch a Nooma (Sunday, which poses questions surrounding the idea of just going through the motions on Sundays), and then discuss it, possibly tying it into serving the body that we had already done that evening. Well, the discussion wound up centering around the fact that our teens (most of them) are utterly bored on Sundays. And the kicker is they are bored because they are off-base in their belief that church is all about what they can get out of it, and not about what they can give into it.
Our students are victims of the American bastardization of Christianity (look here if you want a definition of bastardization. It’s a bad word, but only in the fact that it describes something being done that is wrong). We Americans have gotten so far fro the original intention of following Christ that it makes me weep. It infuriates me; the consumerism and egocentricity that permeates the Christian landscape. The incorrect interpretations of what Heaven mean to the believer. The fast-food mentality towards community. The backstabbing, back-biting, and gossip (just so we can all pray about it). It has been reduced to a selfish, me-centered, God saved me, God-is-my-cosmic-genie system of beliefs and practices. Where is our passion? Our excitement? Our desire to really impact the world around us for Christ?
Needless to say, over the next several months, we will be discovering the social implications of the Gospel, exploring the place our hearts must have in the presence of God, and attempting to help our teens find their first-love excitement for their God. Check back for more rants. Let me know if you have run into this and what you have done about it.
(and by the way, those 3 students who helped out? They came in late, participated, and will be receiving personal thank you’s from me [have already said it, sending postcards] and I am attempting to come up with something special to do to honor them. Any ideas?)