In order to expand our youth groups we're in the midst of a struggle to become relevant to the youth culture. I believe that this is important, and in no way am I diminishing this aspect but I do not believe that this is the entire problem. In fact, I believe that part of the problem with youth group attendence is the fact that the church does not keep up with youth culture. The other side of the problem is that the church focus' too much attention on the fact that they are not keeping up.
I think that the result of tring to be "hip" or "cool" leads to creating just a hangout enviroment. I contend that youth groups should have some of that atmosphere, but there needs to be more than just a hang out time. There needs to be something that makes youth groups different than any other social club.
The fact that Christians have the hope of Christ should be what keeps people curious about our lives. We can have joy in the good and the bad, because we know that God still loves us and wants the best for us. Those who do not have a relationship with Christ do not have that hope, that ability to see through the bad. This is what should distinguish those in the church from those not in the church.
This is why when I hear people talk about how excited that they are about a new building or a new program that the church is working on, I become somewhat critical of what they're thinking.
Conversely, I do not like it when people say, "We just need to be spiritual" because while it is important to be spiritual we must be relevant so people can understand our spirituality. We cannot focus completely on how spiritual we are and become monks living somewhere in the middle of the woods. While monks definately are very spiritual, when they isolate themselves they help nobody but themselves.
So what can be said of this blog? I think that there is a balance we as Christians must have. First we must focus on developing our spirituality. Secondly we must have an emphasis to stay relevent in our world. We must have both, and both must be taken seriously if we as Christians expect to change those around us.