Youth Pastor.. don’t let them put us in a box!

During short vacation last February I was flipping through the tv and saw a cartoon called King of the Hill was talking about church youth groups. It was called “Reborn to be Wild” and was nominated for an award by The Writers Guild of America. Which is amazing how Christians adults can not talk about Christ at school because it will offend students but they will go home and watch 4 hours of television that loves for Christianity to be its punch line.

I tried to find the video clip and couldn’t but I did find a good junk of the script at I encourage you to read the his post. There are some classic lines such as “It doesn’t make Christianity better just rock and roll worse” 

In this particular episode Bobby (Hank’s son who must be twelve or thirteen) becomes involved with a youth group and the far-too-cool youth pastor, Pastor K. Hank is reluctant to have Bobby involved in this type of group, where all the kids skateboard, listen to loud music and generally try to make God cool. Bobby becomes captivated by the group and seeks to impress his parents with his new friends.

The show wraps up with Hank teaching Bobby an important lesson.

BOBBY: When I turn 18, I’m going to do whatever I want for the Lord. Tattoos, piercings, you name it.
HANK: Well, I’ll take that chance. Come here, there’s something I want you to see. (Hank takes down a box from the shelf and opens it up) Remember this?
BOBBY: My beanbag buddy? Oh, man, I can’t believe I collected those things. They’re so lame.
HANK: You didn’t think so five years ago. And how about your virtual pet? You used to carry this thing everywhere. Then you got tired of it, forgot to feed it, and it died.
BOBBY (looks at a photo of himself in a Ninja Turtles costume): I look like such a dork.
HANK: I know how you feel. I never thought that “Members Only” jacket would go out of style, but it did. I know you think stuff you’re doing now is cool, but in a few years you’re going to think it’s lame. And I don’t want the Lord to end up in this box.

The reason I believe that 8 out of 10 teenagers leave church after their out of the youth group is because Christianity goes into the box with everything else that was trendy at the time. They out grow church like they out grow cartoons. True relevance is relevance for a life time. Our students must see that the greatest part of church is the teacing of the Word and being equipped for ministry. If they do not see this when they move from our youth room to the “big room” and stop having water gun wars every Sat. they may not be interested in hanging around. We will be placed in a box! To be pulled out Lord willing when they are older.

About the author

Trent serves as an Associate Pastor at Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. He writes, speaks, and helps lead events that encourage people to "pioneer" in the work of sending.
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