So as a follow-up to yesterdays blog (click here) as promised, I’m going to be reflecting on some of the negative things that I experienced on Friday. I also know that these are biased and should by no means be seen as dogma or law. In return I will post tomorrow a recommendation/s (which I would hope you would come out with guns blazing to critique so that I could come up with better suggestions next time around).
It is also important to see it as a continuation from yesterdays post as the evening is not all negative but there have been many positive aspects to it.
So after the evening, by sitting through and participating in the event, and with much reflection the weekend I have come to these points. That often there is:
- The disregard for time or the inability and lack of control of what is placed on the program. It can become so full of “acts” (sometimes these acts can be unsavoury and distract from the intended purpose of the evening) that it can become overkill. We still live in a world with boundaries and if we as leaders cannot discern or set these boundaries of overdo or overkill then how can expect our youth to be able to? What lessons are we sending?
- The relegation of the Word to the end of the program. Now I know in our current dispensation, the Word of God is downplayed and at times even considered irrelevant. The interpretation of the Word of God is frowned on even more, “that is your opinion” they would say. At times we even would consider preaching as a disturbance in the worship service or program, an unnecessary element that could be left out. When we misplace this important aspect and element from a Christian gathering, you can only then imagine the implications of our actions? The Word of God in your life can also be relegated, and even be an unnecessary disturbance which could be better left out.
- When I’m at work or study and I give in sloppy work, I can bet my bottom dollar (sorry for the American expression) that I will be in trouble. What I find extremely disturbing is the quality of what we present as groups at such events. Yes, the Lord does love a volunteer and none is to be omitted from this amazing privilege of being a part of the ministry. But it is important to know what your gifting is and then also the quality that you present. I actually find it quite offensive when we feel we can give God just any scrap, I honestly think he deserves more than that. Let’s not for the sake of wanting to give or “minister,” as we will put it, just give anything irrespective of its quality. Some of the acts that we presented were bordering and even went over into the offensive side. I wonder what message we send across when we say, “anything is good enough for God, as long as you give”? Again, I think God deserves more than that considering what He gave us.
- A general misplaced purpose. Toward the middle of the evening I was unsure as to what the evening was really about. If we could pin it down to just one thing and then do it well, it would have been an event well marketed and spent. Instead I walked away and was unsure as to the overall purpose of the evening. Was it to showcase talents? Was it for fellowship? Was it for hearing how God could transform lives? Was it to make some money through sales? I’m not too sure if I have the answer to those questions!
So, was it a bad evening? No it wasn’t! I think some goals, whichever they may be, were met. I do however think that maybe there should be a more clearly definable goal and purpose to such events so that young people would be able to walk away with something concrete in a world were there are so many messages bombarding them all the time. So in the end, I would want to say that we should be careful with the messages that we send across, whether intentional or not.
Stay in touch for part 3…