Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty sure we have all had some cynics of the ministries we run. They are not the elders, deacons, or even the parents but they are the ones in whom we are serving. They are the students who have been around and think they know all of the “ins” and “outs” of ministries. They say things like, “I feel like I’m not getting fed here.” Or “I do not bring my friends because it’s not as deep as it should be with all the games.” Or “I just rather listen to Judah Smith because I actually feel something.” My first response is always, “Well what makes you think church is about you?”

Part of me believes there is a healthy place for cynics because it keeps us honest and really checking why we do certain things but cynicism is something youth pastors run into all of the time and it is something we need to be aware of. If not addressed it can do more damage than good.

I read this great article in Relevant Magazine called, “The Most Damaging Attitude In Our Churches” all about cynicism. I even posted it to Facebook the other night in hopes that some of the students who need to read this would click on it. Subtle right? But there comes to the point where we need to teach our students that words matter and we need to watch what we say if it’s hindering the spread of the Gospel in any way. Read a section of the article below because I love how they put it:

We tend to think of cynicism as something that’s overt. We love watching the overt cynics—Bob Kelso, Gregory House, Don Draper. We laugh at their bitter rants and quote their best one-liners. Perhaps their extreme negativity makes it easier to justify our quiet tendency to be overly critical, especially in the name of something good.

But cynicism doesn’t always present itself in the sweeping, broad negativity we see on TV. In the day-to-day, it looks more like quick, unwarranted, “constructive” criticism. I’m not talking about the critical thinking required for success as an adult. I’m referring to the way we constantly evaluate and critique people and what they do…

The Church is the Bride of Christ and deserves our respect.

It is made up of broken people. We may not agree with everything, in fact, we may be spot on in calling out behavior that opposes the Gospel, but let’s speak truth with the love and humility of Jesus. He died for this Bride that He adores, so I’d imagine how we talk about her matters to Him.

When we become subtle cynics, our ability to grow becomes stunted.

Unveiling flaws outside of ourselves requires little to no personal sacrifice. Examining the depths of our own brokenness requires vulnerability and risk, both of which are essential for growth.

It is a great article. It’s a tough subject. How would you deal with cynicism? Do you deal with it now in your group? Do you address is as a group? Do you pull individuals aside and talk to them? What is the best way to handle it within our own groups?

Read the whole article at