No, really! You didn’t misread that, it is 100% true. I know, I know it can’t be, say it ain’t so, please tell me you are joking. Nope, sorry it’s true. I was 7 years old and with my family at Creation, a huge Christian music festival in Pennsylvania, and spending the afternoon in the children’s tent. Now also remember this was some time ago so even though they weren’t any cooler then puppet ministries were much more prevalent than what I hope is true today. But nonetheless something moved me and here I stand today.
I tell you that as a reminder that the church can try as hard as possible to be as cool and relevant and as much like MTV or whatever the kids watch these days, and it is completely and utterly powerless to truly impact and change lives. We are powerless to change hearts without the Spirit. That is why cheesy, hokey, out-dated, [place your adjective here] programs, churches, and events are still effective.
Grant-it I do believe we need to do our best to ministry to those around us (which also means this trend of just copying what other churches have found successful is not a good model for churches use – what worked for them may not be the best way for your ministry to function). I believe in ministry that speaks appropriately to the culture it is trying to reach. But I think it important that we be sympathetic to others who are striving to reach others even though we may not agree with the way in which they are going about it.
So the next time you find yourself at a church where a little old lady is playing hymns on an out of tune piano or a youth ministry playing the worlds cheesiest ice breaker games or anything you would cringe at if ever it were suggested you incorporate into your ministry remember, we are powerless to change peoples lives through our own power and actions.