This post originally appeared here: http://youthmin.org/distinguishing-youth-group-from-other-groups/
A recent profile was done by The Associated Press on the rise of “Atheist Mega Churches” in the United States.
These churches look exactly like most church services do–there is singing, community, and an inspirational message. The only thing that makes them different is that the message doesn’t contain God.
I must admit; as I read this article, I couldn’t help but shake my head. The thing is, I can think of a lot of church experiences that I have had that look exactly like these Atheist churches. There are a lot of churches with sermons that only throw God in there when it is convenient and comfortable. They focus on music and messages and meetings that affirm you, which admittedly can have some positive impact; however, they miss the most important component–Christ.
Now, I’m not going to get into this too deeply, for I feel that God hasn’t given me the specific place to call these experiences out.
What I do feel compelled to talk about is this:
What makes your student ministry meetings different?
What makes a Sunday/Wednesday/______ different for your teenagers compared to any other place that they step into in their week? How is it different from school? Work? Practice? Rehearsal? Clubs?
You see, there should be a difference. I should be able to tell the difference between the Body meeting versus non-Christians, just as I should be able to tell the difference between a Christian church and an Atheist church.
… but sometimes I can’t tell.
In the comments, I would like you to :
1. Tell me WHY it is important that our experiences with the Body should be different.
2. Tell me how YOU strive to make YOUR youth group a place that is different from any other place for your teenagers.