Thursday, October 20, 2011

Consumerism Starts Young

(I haven't posted in a long time)

This Saturday night we are showing a movie, having a little "movie night" with the students. The movie is a great film about a girl who goes through a terrible tragedy and turns that tragedy into an opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ and the power of God with others. We took the students to see it when it was released in the theaters.

Last night after middle school youth group a young lady walked up and asked, "Why are you showing a movie we have already seen?". Her attitude was one of "why should I watch this when I've seen it already?". Great question.

At that point I was reminded of two things:

1. Consumerism ("it's about me") in the church starts young. We (the adults) do everything for the kids from the time they are little toddlers all the way up through high school rather than teaching them to "do" for themselves. We minister to them constantly and consistently rather than train them to minister to each other. The result is we produce the adults that we have all encountered (and have been that person at times) in the church that thinks church is for them and about them, "Cater to my needs. Feed me. Deal with my problems". The person who doesn't reach out and minister to others in any way shape or form or roll up their sleeves and get involved in ministry themselves.

2. I failed. I failed to communicate the "vision" of the event. Every time we do an event that has a purpose (which we should have a purpose every time) and that purpose needs to be communicated.

The purpose of showing this great movie that we have seen already is not for our students entertainment (they will enjoy it) but for out students to have an opportunity to bring a friend to see a movie about a girl with a strong Christian testimony. I guess, in a way it is, for our students. It's for our students to give them an opportunity to open up conversation with their friends about Jesus Christ.

So my lessons learned (or reminded of) at middle school youth last night:
1. Train students to serve. The servant's attitude will impact the rest of their life and the church.
2. Communicate vision over and over and over and over.

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