” When our students are genuine followers of Christ, they will be relevant, and if they are relevant, then the church will be relevant.”

by Greg Linscott

My friend Gerry Carlson sent me the links to this two-part article on youth ministry by Rob Shelton entitled “Have We Been Duped?” I think some of my readers will find them very compelling reading- I know I did. I’ve selected some quotes below to whet your appetite.

Part One
Part Two

We should be wary of using shallow cultural expressions because, whether we intend it or not, the “consumertainment” mindset will be dragged in as well. A culture and its dominant expressions are not neutral.

All of us wish to see students who are disciplined followers of Jesus Christ – with well-formed doctrinal muscle, who are intellectually vibrant and articulate champions of the Truth. But have we been deceived into thinking that we can train up such disciples by using the tools of “consumertainment?”

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We need to rethink our primary means of evangelism. It is time we pour our efforts into making church kids attractive to the world, instead of trying to attract the world’s kids to the church. Only then will we have the luxury of not using the world’s institutions and methods as models for our own. The church is primarily not a place but a people, set apart to be distinctive and holy in the world. Thus, our emphasis should be to make the students, not necessarily the place, attractive.

Of course, this begs the question of what it means for our students to be “attractive.” Surely this cannot mean “students who are just like the world but have Jesus, too.” That would merely shift the level of being duped from the corporate to the individual level. Instead, students need to be attractive by being like Jesus Christ. When our students are genuine followers of Christ, they will be relevant, and if they are relevant, then the church will be relevant.

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