In the crazy “what if” world of impossible scenarios I have often wondered how Jesus would handle youth ministry today. And the more I’ve thought about it, the more I am convinced that Jesus would be fired within his first few months of becoming a youth leader at the typical church. I know I’m a bit weird, but these are the things I think about. Welcome to my world.
This idea intrigued me so much that a few months back I felt compelled to write an article about just this topic, identifying five reasons why Jesus would be fired…here was the first reason:
1. He would shrink the group before he grew it.
In the Gospels, Jesus scared away the loud crowds and nestled into the committed core on several occasions. What makes us think he would do anything differently in a modern youth group context as a youth leader?
His large and thriving “youth group” shrunk to next to nothing after his hard-to-understand lesson on communion in John 6:66, “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”
In Luke 14:25-27 Jesus implemented his crowd shrinking strategy in a much more direct way, “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate their father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Calling for such radical commitment would cause pastors’ kids to complain to their parents. Not to mention how Jesus’ thought provoking teaching style (that often created more questions than answers) would cause parents and pastors alike to cringe. Their red faces would soon turn into a pink slip…
To learn about the other four reasons, you can read the rest of the article here.
But after I wrote the article, the more I thought about it, the more I realized there were actually more than five reasons Jesus would get fired today.
I also realized that this shocking idea should give those of us in youth ministry today pause to consider our current ministry and if per chance our ministry has fallen prey to tradition or culture and moved away from Kingdom principles. I concluded that it deserved more thought and consideration.
So I wrote a book–Firing Jesus—a fictionalized account of just such a scenario.
Would Jesus Make the Cut at Your Church?
Here’s the setting.
Three-and-a-half months ago JC Davidson was hired as the youth leader at Spring Valley Church. But his unorthodox approach to youth ministry has raised more than a few eyebrows and stirred up controversy. An emergency meeting is called to force the issue of whether he should stay or be let go. The book explores the reactions, political maneuvering and ministry approach in a way that gets you thinking, “Could this happen at my church?”
Firing Jesus takes you on an imaginary journey into how Jesus might lead as a youth pastor in the 21st Century…and one potential response for how the church might react.
The Missing Link Webinar Freebie
I’m so pumped about the ideas in this soon to be released book! So excited, in fact, that I’m providing a complimentary e-book sneak peek to anyone who attends one of the free Youth Leader Training Webinars I’ll be doing online in July and August. If you join me for one of these interactive Missing Link…In Discipleship webinars, you’ll get a free e-book of Firing Jesus! (In a format you can read whether you have a designated e-reader or not.)
The webinar will be a short, interactive online training time where, together, we’ll be exploring what I believe is the missing accelerant in the discipleship process. I’m convinced that the faith of your teens will grow when they are challenged in this one area. What is it? Come join us to learn more…Check out the dates and times here and get signed up!
And just for signing up for the webinar, you can immediately download and read an excerpt from the book—the first two chapters of Firing Jesus. I would also ask that you share this blog post with your colleagues in youth ministry who aren’t familiar with Dare 2 Share and invite them to join you for the webinar (there is a share bar on the left of this article, you can e-mail them easily by clicking the “e-mail” button) . It would be a great way to encourage them and nurture youth ministry networking in your area and beyond. Plus, consider inviting your adult youth ministry volunteers or other church staff to get signed up for this free online training.
Check it out, sign up, start reading and join us this summer for the Missing Link! Your view of discipleship and Jesus-style ministry may never be the same.