Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Crazy Youth Conference Season Approaches

The approach of summer means the coming of evangelical youth conference and camps galore. Our church gets its fair share of promotional flyers.
I just got one for the upcoming BGAV sponsored summer YEC event. This year the acronym has changed from the traditional "Youth Evangelism Conference" to "Youth EnCounter." The theme is "Transformation."

Why does this bother me?

Maybe, the thing that rubs me wrong are the photos promoting Christian entertainment. Here's one of a puppet guy who will be there:

Then there is this photo of the band "Skillet" that will also be there:

Question: Just what exactly do we want the youth who attend this event to be transformed into? What is the difference between the posing of this group and a secular rock group? What does the name "Skillet" indicate anyway? Is this really an example of not being conformed to this world but being transformed by the renewing of your mind? At least they've taken the word "Evangelism" out of the title.
I don't mean to to pick on the BGAV or YEC in particular. This is par for the SBC and evangelical youth ministry course, whether "conservative" or "moderate."
My observation, however, is that there is an emerging younger generation who want more than wordly music and mindless "Christian" entertainment. They want solid doctrinal teaching, clear ethical guidance, and authentic Christian community. They want to know that being a Christian means separation from the world, not getting as close as you can to it and still thinking yourself Biblical in worldview and life practice. They will not respond to these kind of shallow events in droves.

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