Perhaps it’s not surprising that our fast food restaurants long ago discovered that the quickest way to a teen’s heart is not through her stomach but through her brain. We can just chalk it up to good business and savvy marketing. But I sometimes wonder if the Church uses these same tactics in a way that undermines our own efforts to offer teens an authentic, transparent, and mature experience of the gospel.
I wonder if this might be why we continue to see so many teens leave the Church once they graduate high school. We’ve fed them a diet of fast food and entertainment and even though their brains crave it, eventually they realize it just doesn’t satisfy. They walk away thinking, “I know I’m supposed to like all of this, but lately it just doesn’t sit right in my stomach.” And off they go—seeking a more meaningful spiritual experience elsewhere.
I thought this post by Brian Kirk was pretty bold. After all, here’s a guy who makes his living in youth ministry who correlates the very industry he works in junk food for student’s souls.
The danger in that perspective is that there is an unintended consequence that could result in churches giving up on youth ministry altogether. That said, I tend to agree with Brian’s premise while wondering about the specifics. I’ve done youth ministry long enough to know that there is some junk food but there is also a whole lot of good stuff.
Question: What are areas of youth ministry that you think are junk food for students souls? What are things that we need to protect as core to youth ministry?