Friday, September 07, 2007

Church Cancelled. Report to Soup Kitchen.

The LCMS office of Youth Ministry sends out an occasional Email update, which usually consists mostly of promoting their next conference or youth gathering, as well as a list of district youth happenings from around the synod (and sometimes a list of resources). Then they usually include a little selection of quotes and such called "Teens and Trends". Of course, these nuggets vary in usefulness.

I gleaned the following little paragraph from the latest email:

MINISTRY SHAPES FAITH MORE THAN WORSHIP . . . If you want to influence a teenager's faith, have them serve meals to the homeless or do other hands-on service projects. "Involvement in community service is far more significant to the faith development of teens than involvement in worship," says Michael Sherr, one of the Baylor University researchers who conducted the study (Associated Baptist Press, February 8, 2007).

So, here's a note for all the Youth from our congregation: I have decided to cancel church on Sunday. We will instead be meeting at the local soup kitchen. Email me for details.


Lutheran Lucciola said...

This is disturbing, and very clueless! Thanks for posting it for us....

Frank said...

I'll be sure to bring this up at my next bored of youth meeting!
This is what happens when we treat Church as if it's just another glee club after school activity.

Jim Roemke said...

Of ocurse sinful humans, no matter the age, will always seek something other than the Divine Service in which God comes to us with His good gifts of Word and Sacrament. That is just natural. Just like I don't like to exercise or take some kinds of medicine--even when I know they are good for me. That certainly doesn't mean that I should indulge myself! I have been thinking for sometime that contemporary Christians have been looking for anyway they can to conform their faith to their sinful flesh, rather than to conform their hearts, minds and souls to Christ Jesus. But, then again, is this really anything new? Faithful Christians will always have a difficult time enticing the world but that doesn't mean we lower the standard of the Cross.

jWinters said...

I agree with Frank - this truly is what happens when we treat church as another glee club activity. We have had a sad history in American Christianity of treating church as a "joiner" activity, a weekly ritual for an odd fraternity.
It is unfortunate that soup kitchen work and worship are put up for comparison against each other. This is the problem with the quote. It's comparing apples to ...well... worship.
What SHOULD have been said is that soup kitchen work enables these young Christians to live out their faith lives in such a way that faith is no longer an abstract mental construct (as in studies and annoying "Shine Jesus Shine fests") and into a concrete part of their lives.

in Christ,

Dr. Luther in the 21st Century said...

I wonder if this is not more indicative of how current worship services are happening. The article recently linked to by Dr. Veith about worship as evangelism remarked that in many ways worship has become disconnected from everyday life and in some cases has become a spectator sport. I think this snippet reflects this reality. Worship services are not feeding the sheep because they are not connecting with the people and so people are looking to fill a void they feel in their lives. It is a shame they are looking at filling it with their works.

I do agree with, JW, we shouldn't be putting service up against the divine service, for service should be an expression of what we receive in the divine service. I think it is good to encourage a life of service in our young people but not at the expense of the divine service.

Mr. & Mrs. Traylor said...

Funny that you should be discussing "In the Field" Christian Education. There really is something to be said in favor of " Hands On Experiances " in addition to the " Class Room Lecture " approach. It puts me in mind of the ten Lepers God had instructed them all to go show themselves to the priests but one was overcome by his appreciation for being near God, our great physician. Our understanding of one hour of Worship on Sunday Morning in the LCMS is an opportunity to be near Jesus from whom all blessings flow from God to us. There may be nine who have come to show themselves to the priests as ready to be of service, but be sure of this there will always be the one who appreciates being near Jesus who is the one who comes EVERY Sunday to Church to serve through His Holy Word and Holy Sacraments after resting on Saturday ( the sabbeth day / seventhday ) There are about 167 hours a week to learn to be a student in the class room or in the soup kitchens and only one little bitty hour of Celebration around our Lord and His special gifts.