An Attitude that makes ministry more difficult

Watching TV last night, I heard a commercial for the first time that included this tagline:

"The minivan that proves you don't have to give up anything to get everything!"

Our focus this year is on commitment to the Christian life, so this line gets under my skin because one of the messages my students will consistently hear this year is "Yes, friends, there are things you give up when you follow Christ."

How do I get around messages like the minivan commercial? (Even though they don't buy minivans, my kids hear the words of that ad...) How do I challenge them to make those tough decisions, without straying into legalism and creating despair, rather than the hope that Jesus always provided?
  • My students are going to hear who Jesus really is, what he commands, and how he never asks us to do anything he didn't do himself.
  • They are going to see adult mentors who behave that same way, participating in all the things we challenge students to.
  • And they are going to wrestle themselves with how to connect their church-worlds to their life-worlds (we are still at that point, and it's a slow process to rise out of it.)

Honestly, the trickiest part is going to be getting the adults to the point where they can model what we need them to. We will all be learning from each other this year.


erinjo said...

i stumbled across this piece of cs lewis the other day, and thought it applicable here -

Screwtape clarifies the Enemy's (God's) intent:

"Of course I know that the Enemy also wants to detach men from themselves, but in a different way. Remember always, that He really likes the little vermin and sets an absurd value on the distinctness of every one of them. When He talks of their losing their selves, He only means abandoning the clamor of self-will: once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His, they will be more themselves than ever. Hence, while He is delighted to see them sacrificing even their innocent wills to His, He hates to see them drifting away from their own nature for any other reason. And we should always encourage them to do so."

-C.S. Lewis from The Screwtape Letters

"when they are wholly His, they will be more themselves than ever"..ahh, it's like a breath of sweet air. so good...no?

Isaac, The Rookie said...


Thanks for reminding me that I really have to read all of "Screwtape Letters" here very quickly. That's a great quote!