Give Up the Gimmicks, Youth Pastors

| February 20, 2012


It's amazing what youth will eat. I love sushi, but it's quite different than eating a live goldfish. I sat near the back of the crowd and watched with a curious sea-sickness—gazing at the teenage wonder while keeping one eye on the nearest trash can! A loud unified chant shook the entire room: "Mar-cus, Mar-cus." And down it went, to the praise of cheering youth. He was the envy of every guy and the disgust of every girl. The champion collected his prizes and walked off the stage with a hero-notch on his belt.

"So what can we do next week," I thought to myself. "There's no way I can top eating a live goldfish." I was helping out with the youth program at the time, and we had been gradually escalating the "shock factor" to attract more youth. And, for all intents and purposes, it seemed to work. Every week, we saw new youth, who occasionally seemed to embody a little of the "shock factor" themselves.

Over time, though, we began to run out of ideas and started getting desperate. The youth seemed bored, and we had to think of something fast. We didn't have much money in our youth budget, so we decided…


To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/en/article/give-up-the-gimmicks-youth-pastors.