Sharing the gospel every week in your youth group meeting will definitely send your Christian students over the edge.
Who wants to hear the same thing week in and week out for a minute or two at the end of every meeting? Borrrring. Week in and week out. Comeon. We don’t want to bore our core with all that stuff about the cross. It’s all kinda gruesome, when you think about it, anyway. It’s actually kind of a downer to focus on that sort of thing too often. Mentioning sin and our need for forgiveness is a bit too negative to dwell on every week. Bad for the self-image, and all that. Especially during those important adolescent years when teenagers are emancipating and building their own identity and all that.
There’s so much dark stuff in their world these days as it is. Hurt, depression, divorce, bullying, cutting, and on and on. They come to youth group for fun and games and hanging with friends.
What’s the Big Deal?
Plus, I mean, what’s the big deal about the gospel message, anyway? God loves us, and Jesus died so we could be forgiven and receive eternal life. What’s the big deal about that?
After all, we all know teenagers are so self-absorbed, they could care less if the lost friends they bring to youth group ever hear the gospel clearly presented. Those invitations to trust in Christ and receive the free gift of eternal life are so awkward…and old-fashioned. Exciting and edgy is what we’re looking. No one wants to run with stuff that’s old, stale and boring, even if it only takes up a minute or two of the meeting.
Who Cares if They Go to Hell?
Besides, your average selfie-obsessed youth group attendee simply doesn’t care whether those lost kids who randomly show up at youth group on any given week go to hell or not, right? Who cares if they never come back and never get the chance to hear the gospel? After all, you do it once or twice a year for those couple of evangelistically-focused messages.
Still, I read this passage in 1 Corinthians recently that gave me a bit of a pause. It went like this,
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).
It made me wonder. If Paul was a youth leader today writing to his youth group, I wonder if this passage might read something like,
When I came to you I didn’t make my biggest priority playing crazy games or building a fancy youth room, my main focus was Jesus Christ and him crucified.
It sort of sounds like he might take whatever the youth group subject of the night is and make a “salvation segue” to the cross.
But what does he know? He lived over 2000 years ago. That was then, this is now. Things are different. Aren’t they?
Actually, NO, they’re not!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes… (Romans 1:16).