Wes McGarrah – AH Associate Pastor
So I went to Six Flags for the first time…my heart and stomach are officially in California. CSM students and leaders pulled into the parking lot after a heart-warming ride on the bus all night and I must say, those roller coasters looked pretty amazing! I had never seen so many! No I didn’t get out much as a kid. I couldn’t wait to hop on a bunch of rides and scream like the day Lord of the Rings on Blu-Ray came out. Again, I didn’t get out much when I was younger.
Here is what I realized upon getting in line…EVERY other person had the same idea that I did! There were more people waiting in line to get on those rides than there are hipsters in Oregon! For a second I thought Justin (Justice?) Bieber was taking the tickets personally. I soon realized that I wouldn’t be going on as many rides as I originally thought. After 2 rides, some lunch and $15 dollars spent on a reusable soda cup for the park I thought, “Remember when Television was the big thing!” My next thought went something like, “What does the church look like to these kids?”
In Student Ministries we work so hard to be relevant and captivating. We watch things like crowd participation and we’re mindful of capping a game early if people are loosing interest. We talk for hours about good illustrations for a lesson. We look at culture and discuss how we can draw out Biblical truths that will relate to teenagers. A good Servant Minister is able to spit out a dozen facts about technology that has only been available for the past 6 months! A phenomenal Servant Minister would have the kid signed up for baptism shortly after this conversation. So then I thought…
Is what we’re doing working?
What is Six Flags doing that is worth the wait? Why do talks on abstinence seem to have the opposite affect? You show up to Six Flags and talk about “waiting until marriage” and you’ll have kids jumping out of line in no time! How come when we tell kids to open their Bibles to Deuteronomy, they get to Exodus and then give up? How come the only time someone listens to your announcement, it’s the same week you have your information wrong?
I’ll close with one more thought.
When is the last time my walk with Christ resembled the experience I got when I dropped 412 ft. from the sky and was shaking with excitement? Six Flags can only create an exciting and compelling experience because their product is exciting and compelling! Are we selling a product that doesn’t exist – or are we living a joy that cannot be topped?