Monday, May 07, 2007

Perception vs. Reality

I went to "The Core" this weekend. The topic was on "Helping Hurting Kids". This was the third year in a row I've attended. As usual - good training and good fellowship. I love having an opportunity to better equip our volunteers and parents - and in so doing better equip our kids. It is also great to get to know each other better outside of church.

One of the videos they used was from "The Skit Guys" showing youth ministry perceptions vs. reality. It was well done - and you can track it down here.

It has got me thinking about a conversation we had in SMYG a couple of weeks ago...

We were talking about the story of Jesus turning water into wine. (I used Laurie Polich's "Studies on the Go - John" and Grant English's devo on the passage as a frame - both great resources)

One of the questions I asked our kids was from Laurie's book -

"If you were going to throw a party with your friends and you had the opportunity to have Jesus there, do you think the party would be more fun or less fun? Why?"

The couple of students that answered - out of about 30 - generally said, "If it was a party of Christ followers it would be sweet, but He would probably make my friends who aren't Christians uncomfortable."

As I've replayed that sentiment in my head here are the questions it brings up....

* How does the kid's perception of Jesus relate to what we see of Jesus in the bible? To me it seems Jesus made those that are religious more uncomfortable than those that weren't.

* Is their perception of Christ a reflection of my teaching? Is this how I come across in my relationship with Christ? Lord, forgive me.

* Are the kids more worried about what their "non Christian" friends think about Jesus....or what Jesus thinks about them....or what Jesus thinks about their friends? I wonder where they think Jesus' focus would be during the party?

There are so many more questions it brings up.

Many of them make me uncomfortable - and bottom line is all I can say is God forgive me - and thank you for opening my eyes.

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