Here’s my column from the May/June, 2009 issue of the Journal of Student Ministries. The topic for me was how do we communicate value to all of our students through verbal and, more importantly, non-verbal cues. I have to admit, I struggled with whether or not I should use some of the examples I used in the article; ultimately I went with them because they were significant moments in my life and ministry and ultimately impacted a lot of my thoughts on the topic. Let me know what you think!
Imparting Value – Journal of Student Ministries, May/June, 2009
One thought on “Imparting Value”
Matthew, I just wanted to thank you for linking to your articles. I came to your site because of a Bob Harper interview, and stayed when I saw you were a Christian. Not only that, but a thoughtful and well-spoken Christian.
I'm a PK, all growed up now, but I think another thing you missed discussing is giving value based on how Christian a kid is. I admit having a kid who speaks Church-ese etc is not a draw for other kids to come to a youth group 🙂 but putting value on that or on who the parents are (and it could be deacon's kid or elder's kid) is another way of starting a clique or showing favouritism.
Sad thing is, you can't fake pretty or cool. Piety is fakeable.
One thing I did find surprising in your article was that people said, "It's something you don't say out loud". Churches have no problem building video gaming rooms or installing rock climbing walls, and saying that out loud or posting it on their signs. They're mimicking culture at every opportunity. Why would anyone be surprised or shocked to hear we were going with the world's way of drawing attendance either, since it's one that the world has proven for us? Sex sells, and our numbers are down…
When is the church going to quit the mealy-mouthed double standard (what we think or say behind closed doors vs what we portray for people to think we stand for) and finally just be what it's supposed to be? I honestly think it'd be the best thing we could do to risk losing a few butts in our seats and actually stick to bible teaching and living by what it says, not what society says. I think people are sick of seeing us live how we want all week and putting our game faces on for Sunday. I think they're fed to the teeth with having us tout some better way whilst valuing the same things the world values. What's different or better about that?