The letter reads, “Every year we pray with youth to receive Christ as Savior when they say at first they are coming on rededication or for special service.”
A few observations:
1. Would it be better to give a variety of “decisional” opportunities as opposed to the big three? Occasionally more specific direction as to how one might repsond to the voice of God. The result is that in our churches when people sense the leading of the Spirit of God they click through the three mental models for expression of a decision and when what they are feeling does not fit, then they are stunted at the point of expression.
2. Would it be better to acclimate “encouragers” to a variety of idioms for trusting Jesus? We often look for the “code” words or phrases. These are modern developments. One hundred years ago you would not hear the idiom, “trust Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.” There are some very biblical phrases. My personal favorite, “follow Jesus.” Or as another has put it, “follow God in the way of Jesus.” Could it be we “reconvert” people by the numbers but we covert them to our “code” words; this has a more gnostic feel.
3. Could we find a better way to get into the stories of the young people who respond to the move of the Spirit? We objectify them as a “number.” We ring the bell each morning for each person who “confesses Jesus.” Would it be better to call out their names over a loud speaker or do nothing at all? Maybe it would be better to let the young people share their story in a small group and mabye not even for the larger group they came with. We report on people by the hundreds and thousands. Does this in some way diminish them as people and prop up our system?
Considering the guidelines.
2 comments on ““Looking for the right formula …””
Is it okay if I send this to a few specific people in charge of a specific large event. Just kidding
I love this insightful way of helping the youth describe their spiritual journeys rather than having the youth respond to a set of choices. And, it might also take away that numerical aspect of “soul counting” which, while interesting, certainly depersonalizes the youth’s commitment a bit.