|Pirate Night @ Wesley Memorial|
One church I served, which had a real heart for student ministry and the messes it can create, decided to install new carpet in our youth room. The old carpet was covered in massive stains and there was money to replace it. I was excited until I went to a Trustees meeting and began to hear all of the things we could no longer do once the new carpet was installed. No more food in the room. Seriously? No food in a youth room? We ate supper there every week. No more messy games. Really? No more Jell-O Nights? No more Honey Bee Club? C'mon, man! And the list went on. When I complained, they asked me for suggestions as to how to keep from messing up what was quickly becoming the Jones Memorial Carpet. I gave them the following suggestions:
- Purchase a carpet that was pre-stained or tie-dyed so no one would ever see the stains.
- Forget about carpet and just use drop clothes.
- Install tile instead. Easier to clean, but extremely slippery. A law suit is better than a stain any day!
- Purchase a light colored carpet, then stage a pre-emptive spill with red "Bug Juice" and cover the whole area. Oops!
- Just get it over with and shut down the youth program, because teenagers are just not your thing.
My long-winded point today is this- both student ministry and the Jesus Revolution are not likely to be successful if we only think it terms of "this is how we do it at church." The people impressed by our "church piety" are already at church. It's the lost and the hurting we need to connect with and show love to. And that will always be messy. It may involve the homeless, the unclean, the HIV positive and the criminal. It will definitely mean that people who don't know (or care) "how we do it at church" will be coming through our doors. If they do, I'm willing to bet you they will leave stains on the Jones Memorial Carpet. And I think you would hear Jesus crying out- WHOOO-HOOO! Viva la revolution!
Because of Jesus,