Allow me to quote some paragraphs of an article by Ted Stump, founder and director of High Impact Ministries in Glendale, Arizona. Please share your opinion after reading it.
We have produced a generation of young consumers with the attitude of, ‘Hi, my name is Jimmy, what are you gonna gimmie?’ Our present methods of ministry is breeding this type of ‘customer’.
What have we accomplished
I recently resigned as youth minister of one of the fastest growing churches in the United States. The centre of its mission: Entertainment. The strategy was to bring in the multitude and entertain them with quality music, drama, comedy and non-threatening, user-friendly messages.
We had smoke, lasers, comedians and professional football and basketball players. We invited an Olympic pole vaulter, Mr. America, Mr. Universe and Mr. World. We took them camping, swimming, fishing, skiing, surfing and skating. We played broom ball, volleyball, foosball, Ping-Pong, wallball and beach ball.
Every night when the smoke cleared, the bands went home and hundreds of youth filed out the door, I asked myself what we had really accomplished. Sure, we had shared the gospel and the youth responded, but I knew the multitude went away still hurting, still searching for the truth.
Competing with Hollywood
This generation lives in a society that devours its youth. Suicide remains the No. 2 killer of teenagers. In fact, it increased up to 400% during the last 10 years. In addition, divorce has left many teens without a sense of acceptance or belonging.
If we think Entertainment Evangelism can help this wounded generation, we need to wake up. We will never be able to compete with what comes out of Hollywood. But let me tell you something: Hollywood can never compete with what comes out of the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit that can transform an individual’s life.
There is a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit around the world which has transcended denominational lines. It is the cell group ministry. I have spoken with countless youth pastors who have been prompted to move toward a cell group model for their ministries. That is the answer to this generation’s needs.
FXit (www.fxit.co.za) accommodates children- and teenage ministry in small groups (English and Afrikaans) in Sunday school, teen ministry, children’s church, schools, youth weeks, camps, etc.
We use no trickery, and we do not change the teaching of God. We teach the truth plainly… (2 Cor 4:2, NCV)