I had an experience recently that was a real eye-opener. I would love to be able to share all the details, but in consideration of the fact that my blog is open to the public, I feel it would be best not to do so. I certainly have no desire to hurt anyone's feelings.
To be brief, the experience involved me speaking (on behalf of LMO) at a youth rally. I took my 2 daughters with me. What we encountered was just downright embarrassing. The 2 rock bands were a disgrace to the Holy God about Whom they claimed to be singing. It was so loud it scared my baby girl and shocked my 12 yr old. Adults made fools of themselves in the name of doing anything for Christ. When the Bible speaks of the foolishness of the gospel, I feel pretty confident in not interpreting that to mean getting up on a comfortable, air-conditioned stage and acting like an ape. Whatever I have said in the past about youth groups, let me just say that I was much too nice about it.
I have taken a lot of heat about this subject through the years, but time has shown us that we have done a grave disservice to our kids by inventing a new way of evangelizing them. By "reinventing the wheel", we have completely departed from New Testament faith. We've lost confidence in the glorious gospel and the power of Holy Spirit preaching, and put our trust in recreation and psychological games. We mock a Spirit-filled man of God and flock to metrosexual dudes with holes in their jeans and untucked shirts. We've traded the "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" for (....I'm trying to be nice here...give me a minute...) generic, mediocre, chants to the beat of a pagan drum. And our children are lost.
My 12 year old, one of the church pianists who plays beautifully from the Church Hymnal and carries herself with a mature grace and charm well beyond her years, was dumbfounded. "Mom, do they not realize how silly they look? I'm embarrassed for them." It grieved me to see the "dumbing down" that was taking place. Where is the challenge to embrace a serious walk with Christ? What can be gained by encouraging perpetual youth?
And our children are lost.
As I was discussing this with a friend yesterday, her daughter shared this video with me. I LOVE the Blimey Cow guys! They're a perfect testimony to homeschooling, and the ability it gives people to think outside the box of mainstream mania. This video sums up the futility of youth groups, as well as why they draw so many kids, most of whom sadly do not make the cross-over into grown-up church. (Of course, the Bible NEVER makes a distinction! When Paul wrote to the Colossians and the Ephesians, addressing the children and the parents, he never paused for the youth pastor to bring his group in to hear the reading of the letter. He expected they were all sitting together in the congregation listening as a family!)