My struggle today . . . everyday . . .
I love pop culture. I do. I love busy city streets with the bustling people and the shared experience of watching “Lost” or “The Office”. I think it taps into one of my spiritual gifts I can’t name; but the gift deals with my love for community and everything closely related. I work in a funny place with VERY funny people so for me the TV premier of “The Office” was a much anticipated event. Once again I felt the Holy Spirit reminding me who I was. It happened last night in a room full of Christian friends. It came to a head today as I was giving a Youth Pastor buddy some advice on how to get his students engaged on Wednesday nights.
In all my youth ministry experience and wisdom I told this guy: “You have to use the pain, reality and conflict in their everyday lives to show the relevance of the scriptures to change our being!” Then, since it had been on my heart since last night I used my own personal life example. Here is a portion of my email to him:
I challenge you to test it on yourself bro! Look at it this way. To engage students you must be able to honestly say your lesson content would engage you. Would you pay 10 bucks to come and be challenged with the content you are putting in front of your students on Wednesday nights? I ask myself this about our jr high program every week. Conflict is amazing. I would present conflict; because in real conflict we find real emotion which translates your students thinking into this: “hey, I have an opinion here, hey, I care about this topic, hey the word of God can speak into my life and direct my thoughts, actions and being.”
The bible is full of conflict. For instance: The office was on last night. I watched it. I laughed at some parts, more than anything I was hurt because I was reminded that I am not of this world, in fact I am a stranger in this land called to something different. As America laughed at the kissing scene I hurt because Satan tried to marginalize Christians and warp our thinking. We are in a war and we are eating whatever the enemy slips into our minds. That is conflict. Am I one of those “Christian bigots” that were talked about on “Studio 60” in the premiere Monday night . . . no I’m not, well . . yes I am but not like them, no I mean . . .
I think our students will respond when we present the gospel of Jesus in it’s true light . . . . which is very difficult to follow. I love the moments they create in the show “The Office”; but last night I was convicted to be set apart. I was reminded that Satan hates me and wants to blurr the Jesus message of Love I carry to condemnation! I am not saying I won’t watch another episode or your not a Christian if you do! I am just saying that for me last night I had an encounter in my heart that reminded me I am not at home. I am not really American and a member of this media market soaking up facts about this season’s “Lost” secrets. I am a follower of Jesus. I can’t expect anything but what he found.
These are just my random thoughts . . . I might blog this today
I just did!