CrossMap had a great post on young atheists and youth ministry that got me thinking this week – thought I would grab a clip of it here and send you there if you want to do the rest.
Taunton’s findings are counter-intuitive. Much of what passes for youth ministry these days is driven by a morbid fear of boring our young charges. As a result, a lot of time is spent trying to devise ways to entertain them. The rest of the time is spent worrying about whether the Christian message will turn kids off.
But as Taunton found, young people, like the not-so-young, respect people with conviction-provided they know what they’re talking about. Taunton talks about his experiences with the late Christopher Hitchens, who, in their debates, refrained from attacking him. When asked why, Hitchens replied, “Because you believe it.” I don’t know what that says about Hitchens’ other Christian debate partners, but it is a potent reminder that playing down the truth claims of the Christian faith doesn’t work.
People don’t believe those they don’t respect. Here’s something that one of the students told Larry Taunton; he said, “Christianity is something that if youreally believed it, it would change your life and you would want to change
[the lives] of others. I haven’t seen too much of that.”
Folks, that’s pretty sobering. This puts the ball in our court. Are we living lives that show our children that we actually believe what we say we believe? And here’s another question-do we actually believe it? I have to say, as a parent I’m taking this very seriously.