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VIDEO: Youth Group Cliches

Some of you may have seen this already, but this is another "instant classic" from Blimey Cow (thanks to my FB Friends for sharing it)!

I'm glad someone else criticized the "Lock-In" concept too, because I always thought it was weird whenever our church hosted one when I was in Middle School.

 You know, as funny as that video is, it's really no laughing matter though.

That's why it made me recall a piece I saw several months ago titled "'For All The Young Dudes And Gals': A Lenten Midweek Sermon On Youth" by Pastor Sam Schuldheisz who was chosen to preach on the section of "youth" from the Table of Duties back in March 2014.

 Here's a brief excerpt to whet your appetite a bit...

Peter tells the church that the youth need shepherds. Sadly, American Christianity has spent decades giving the youth of the church everything but shepherds: they’ve been fed a steady diet of emotionally and subjectively manipulative bible studies and worship services; they’ve been offered theological junk food and moralistic animated talking vegetables; they’ve heard plenty of gimmicks but not enough Gospel. No wonder we’re witnessing a teenage wasteland in the church.

The youth don’t need a salesmen to bait and switch them into believing Christ’s word and sacraments. They need a shepherd who will deliver Christ’s wholesome, life-giving water, word, body and blood to them at the pulpit, font, lectern, and altar, in bible class, youth group, or in casual conversation.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not bad to have fun activities. The youth need that just as much as the rest of us. But that’s not all they need. Pizza is great but it isn’t the Gospel. Fun isn’t going to anchor and sustain their Christian faith when they have a rough day or week at school, or when a friend commits suicide, or a family member is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Peter is teaching pastors and the church to give the youth what they really need: a steady diet of spiritual meat and potatoes, not junk food, even when that may sound more appetizing; the solid food of the Scriptures, the Catechism, the hymnal.

And though we may think they speak a different language (texting and whatnot), we should never dumb-down our teaching or water down worship. Our Lutheran youth are smart and they love Lutheranism; we just need to give it to them, early and often.

The youth I spend time with know that the church should look and sound different than the world they see on Facebook, Netflix, or their smart phones. They know the difference between Disney Land and the Divine Service. Our youth are smart and they want to be Lutheran, but like us, they need to be fed.

St. Peter wants pastors to shepherd the flock and churches to lead our fellow members of the flock to the still waters of the font and to the table overflowing with Christ’s bodied and blooded promises.

Peter wants the church to give our youth a faith they can grow into, not out of.

In a Lutheran Layman's terms, "pizza is great but it isn't the Gospel" so give 'em the Gospel, the only "food" that can nourish and save their souls (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; Romans 10:17) my dear friends.

NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a "Book of Concord" containing our Confessions even existed. In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by common Evangelical concerns/criticisms that aren't that big a deal for us Lutherans. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Finally, please know that any time we engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible unless otherwise noted. Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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