One thing that really strikes me in American culture is the emphasis on comfort.
The fact that you can get your mail from your mail box by driving up to it
The unbelievable amount of drive thru restaurants
The fact that your groceries are being bagged for you
The whole concept of drive thru pharmacies
Grocery stores that are open 24/7
Every family member old enough to drive usually has his/her own car
These are just a few of the things that stand out to me, coming from another country and another culture. American society is arranged in a way to get everything done as comfortably as possible (except for the IRS maybe – but I haven’t been in a country where paying taxes is comfortable!). It has become an essential element of the culture: embracing the comfortable.
But life with Jesus is anything but comfortable. It’s messy, it’s challenging, it’s frustrating, and at times it’s acutely uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely worth it, but it’s not easy and nice. Unless you teach your students that uncomfortable can be good, unless you teach them to embrace the uncomfortable, being a disciple will be mighty hard for them.
It’s one of the things I love about mission trips. They are almost by definition uncomfortable. The same holds true for serving projects outside your church, for instance in homeless shelters, foster homes, or care facilities.
How comfortable is your youth ministry and what could you do to prepare your students for the reality of an uncomfortable life with Jesus?