I don’t program for apathetic and disinterested students. I don’t program to fill the time of bored teenagers. I don’t throw events “to get them off the streets.”
Really, how could I possibly create a church program which will interest the disinterested?
I started off stating my position strongly partly for shock value, but mostly because I’m very serious about this. Let me be clear who I’m talking about. I’m NOT talking about dis-interested non-Christians. I’m not talking about people who are going through a crisis of faith. I’m talking about people who have heard the truth, claim to believe the truth, but are simply lukewarm towards the faith.
Yesterday someone asked me who’s responsibility are the disinterested students. I would say that they’re responsible for themselves. Depending on your theology, it’s dependent on an act of their and/or an act of the Holy Spirit. The problem with the alternative position is that it leads to a place where we’re not only responsible to preach the gospel, we’re also responsible to force people to respond. Scripture seems to clearly put that responsibility on the Holy Spirit.
There are, of course, things in place to connect disinterested kids. And it’s not that I don’t make any effort to connect students who are disconnected. It’s good to have some leaders who have a heart for disconnected kids. What I can’t do is program to engage them. I can’t make it my job to motivate kids who simply won’t be motivated.
Here’s the problem: There are roughly 2,000 teenagers in the area I’m responsible. If statistics hold, only about 400 of them regularly attend church. That leaves 1,600 teenagers I need to reach. If I’m going to reach the 1,600 I can’t dedicate my resources and time to reach a handful of church kids who have been reached but who have chosen to be lukewarm towards the faith.
Adults don’t have anyone dragging them to church (well some passive men do). Adults have to choose to be an active part of the body and an obedient disciple. I can mobilize and equip a bunch of teenagers who are choosing to be part of the body and follow Christ. I can’t mobilize a bunch of kids who show up each week expecting to be entertained.
If someone has some ideas for what a good program for disinterested church kids would look like, I’m open to the idea.