Home > Humor > What does it take to do successful youth ministry? Not this.

What does it take to do successful youth ministry? Not this.

March 15th, 2009
Marketing Advertising Blog — VuManhThang.Com

Note: this is satire. If you have no sense of humor, please do not watch this video.

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Categories: Humor
  1. Rev. Tom Fast
    March 15th, 2009 at 20:40 | #1

    You had to tell us this is satire? Now THAT’S funny. :-)
    McCain: Believe me, some of the folks who read this blog have a pea-sized sense of the ironic, or humor.

  2. March 15th, 2009 at 20:54 | #2

    This is truly excellent! Yes, satirical, but it drives home a big point about youth ministry, similar to what we do at Higher Things. It’s about the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the youth, not about gimmicks or shallow attempts at “being relevant.” Thanks for digging this one up.

  3. Sarah
    March 15th, 2009 at 22:51 | #3

    that is so good..it was like “the Office” but better. Totally should be turned into a tv show!

  4. March 16th, 2009 at 02:22 | #4

    The atheist and rationalist set has “Poe’s Law”:
    “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.”
    I propose that Poe’s Law should be extended to Evangelicalism and its trends.

  5. Matt
    March 16th, 2009 at 09:02 | #5

    That is brilliant satire, and very professionally done.
    While this is quite funny, it left me feeling a little sick. Talk about sheep without a shepherd! My heart goes out to the clueless adult youth ministers. Their intentions are so good, but they have no idea what to do. They have been told over and over about how they have to be hip and relevent to the youth (likely by their eccliasitical supervisors) and they are not at all well catechized themselves. I really empathize with thier cringing discomfort during “Ignatius’” presentation.
    This video is funny, but the ignorance in our modern church is a tragedy. The video starts with a shot of a United Methodist church but this pathetic attempt to imitate “hip” evangelicalism could just as easily be Lutheran.

  6. March 16th, 2009 at 09:09 | #6

    Hilarious! It’s sad that all of us probably recognize different things in the video that we have seen in person. But for any satire to be good satire there has to be bit of truth tucked in there somewhere. This video was loaded with truths about how many say we need to work with kids to be relevant.
    Our program has followed the Higher Things model for almost ten years now. What a blessing HT is for all of us.
    If I tried any of what was in the video, our kids would rightly run me off the property.

  7. John M
    March 16th, 2009 at 10:21 | #7

    Now here is a guy that is truly ABLAZE!

  8. March 16th, 2009 at 10:30 | #8

    There’s also a more subtle message here — which I’m sure many people will completely miss — about doctrinal discipline and the practice of fellowship.
    Many churches and leaders will do exactly what the one in this “documentary” did — invite someone in to teach based merely on popularity or fame or some vague “coolness factor”, without taking seriously the scriptural admonitions (there are so many of them!) to *first* make sure that what is being taught is 100% correct and pleasing to God (and that therefore there is doctrinal agreement). (The older leader here exercised doctrinal discipline only *after* the damage had been done, as though judging Ignatius’ fruit wouldn’t have been possible beforehand.)
    Or maybe I’m hopelessly out-of-touch and that’s just an old-fashioned idea I’m clinging to . . .

  9. Scott
    March 16th, 2009 at 10:59 | #9

    This video completely captures all that is wrong with personality centered, pop culture driven, ministry. I would say “Ignatius” isn’t such a parody, really, of the “emgergent” personalities out there. But man, I laughed out loud more than once watching this. “Close your heads and bow your eyes…”

  10. Bill
    March 16th, 2009 at 13:05 | #10

    Is it bad that I found the first acoustic-guitar-wielding-prayer-leader about as awkward as Ignatius?

  11. Gretchen
    March 16th, 2009 at 20:06 | #11

    It’s an interesting reality to that folks across the entire spectrum of the Church probably find this video too-close to home, can think of examples of Ignatius’ types they’ve seen in action, and (dare I suggest) have all been their own version of self-impressed Ignatius at one time or another.
    For this viewer, the point wasn’t as much about whether or not one is relevant or not (after all – what is more relevant than the Gospel, while at the same time so counter-cultural) as it was this poor youth worker’s lack of awareness that led him to make “his” ministry all about himself – and not Christ Jesus. I’ve seen it in a wide-range of settings and styles, when the message of the youth worker becomes as self-agrandizing as the adolescent he or she professes to serve, all is usually just about lost.
    Ignatius fixation on the lights, the flash and pizazz is symbolic for those things we all crave – and it’s different for each of us. For some who work with students its about the confidences shared, or the power to “shape” lives, or the veneer of being “included” that teens can provide adults. In the end – we all have our Ignatius tendencies (well – maybe not the moderately priced haircuts …)
    Connecting kids with the Word and the Sacraments is where it’s at – not with the personality of the youth worker. That’s what was wrong with Ignatius. And good youth ministry happens in hallways, traveling on buses and in minivans, at events, around campfires, engaging via Twitter even these days … good youth ministry is centered on Christ Alone. When everything shifts and changes for a student – when they move on from high school student ministry and the personality of the youth worker is left behind – what relationship is left for them? What foundation has been laid? Good student ministry turns kids eyes off of self (both theirs and the leaders) and by God’s grace transfixes them on the cross alone.

  12. Dave in Seattle
    March 17th, 2009 at 22:37 | #12

    I enjoyed that video–very funny. I hate to break the mood, but as someone who came out of American evangelicalism a few years back I can tell you that this stuff isn’t that far off from what I’ve seen first hand at various churches and national conferences. The sad part is that since I became an LCMS Lutheran I’ve witnessed a lot of similarities at a number of local churches, circuit and district youth gatherings in the LCMS. It may be funny satire, but it also points us to disturbing trends in our current doctrine and practice with our Lutheran youth.

  13. Dave
    March 25th, 2009 at 21:53 | #13

    There is nothing wrong with getting youth excited about Christ, BUT it has to be based in our Word and Doctrine. How did Christ reach the masses? Through the Word! But also note that it also says that he spoke with Authority! The people listened, because… 1) The Word leads people to listen, 2) He was engaged with his listeners. They were excited!
    We need to get youth to be, “flamin’!” But with the Holy Spirit. And how does the Holy Spirit come to us? Through His Word!

  14. Aloysius
    May 15th, 2009 at 18:45 | #14

    Ya’ know; I’d like a copy of this vid for the SS teachers here. I “got” the message. W&S = KIITW = keep it in the word! Forget the glitz, glam and hollywood effects for we all need to stay in His Word. +Peace – Out+

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