Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Does Youth Alive play a part in a postmodern ministry setting?

Caught up with a fellow friend in ministry this morning for a drink, which was cool.

He's on the organising committee for Youth Alive (a big evangelistic rally) here on the peninsula, which has been something I've never really been a fan of-for a number of reasons.

The first is that I just don't think its a particulalrly effective method of evangelism. I often wonder if all the time spent organising such an event would be better speant actually hanging out with kids in the community?

Theologically I have issues with the whole assumption that making one decision on one night actually achieves anything of spiritual significance? I know for many people it can be a good start, but i don't like the assumption-stated or not, that if you come down the front tonight you'll get into heaven.

I don't feel it allows for a great deal of diversity in terms of how people undertand/experience God. But then again, as part of a well grounded youth ministry program, that will have follow up discipleship stuff-it might have a place.

I've always reacted very heavily against the way they do things, but am softening on that a bit.


Marx Kernow said...

Believe in it! Hell, I've seen it! Its a total cack, hypefest, entertainment production that is as much about getting a bunch of young people off their rockers as encountering Jesus. Whats the teenage pregnancy stats that come out of these events?? Its all very exciting!! Last time I went I got stampeded at the altar call by the herding masses. Wonder what happened to them all? The speaker was a legend at communicating to young people and mass audiences and I respected that but its still a lot about technique. I still think there is a place for big events not just hanging out but in the name of creator God we can surely come up with something thats not so artless. Thankfully a gracious God can use and work around, (often in spite of) all our culturally compromised attempts. I like to think of Jesus hanging out with the smokers out the back.

Anonymous said...

I would like to say something, but I'm not really at liberty to.

Trav said...

I think youth alive has it's good points and it's negative points. I grew up on youth alives but can see there are significan't flaws. Here's what i'm interested in though: Perhaps instead of youth alive trying to reach every young person in Victoria in one venue on one night (and set huge records) would they be better off trying to reach specific groups. Lots of people go to music concerts, youth alive is similar in some ways perhaps they could alter their events to stragetically reach that group or another group altogether.

Finkel said...

its something ive given a lot of thought about too, but with other such hypefests such as Hillsongs and Planetshakers. All who hold mammoth events which get everyone so hyped up in their passion for folllowing Jesus... then kinda get let down the second they walk out of the arena. Ive seen it happen too many a time, I've been with people as theyve gone up the front, hell I've even gone up the front myself at one particular event... and i completely agree with ya Diggs. There's so much enthusiasm at the events, theres so much of a hype on stage, theres so much adrenaline in the air that people can jump into faith thinking that every day should be like that. When it's evidentally not, unfortunately thats where the false impression of faith that Youth Alive seems to project falls, and all those who were lulled by the evening suffer, and can be a drastic backstep in faith.

Digger said...

Thanks for posting Finks. i don't totally have a problem with people having an emotional experience of God-and who am I dictate others experiences of God anyway!

I guess the key for me is that experience is integrated into the rest of somebodys spiritual walk, something we don't do well at the moment. People needs to understand that their faith will not look like that all of the time, that it will get hard. And to be honest, i just don't hear enough of that.