A few years ago, I attended a youth event filled with Missouri Baptist Youth and their leaders. They convened upon St. Louis and were gathered for a conference focused on missions and evangelism. I was excited. If you know me, you know that there isn't much more that can thrill me then when we get together to talk about taking the Gospel message to others so that they to may taste and see that the Lord is good! I was pumped, I loaded our church van, headed out, and there we arrived.
The church building we were meeting in was packed!!! There must have been a thousand or more students, and they were giddy, excited, loud, and crazy. Then they had a great band lead some songs, and they were good songs at that.
What happened next was a surprise to me. A guy got up after the music and began telling jokes and imitating a man by the name of "Chris Farley"...I'm not sure how to spell it. I don't know that I have ever seen any movie with this person in it, and I hope that I have not, but I was told by some of the kids that this was they guy that our speaker was impersonating. This went on back and forth with jokes and impersonations for about an hour.
I looked around. I saw students and leaders doubled over they were laughing so hard. It appeared that everyone was having a great time. They were all in to this guy's message. I mean, everyone was memorized and totally given in to this. He had the entire audience captivated.
Finally at the end of the "talk" he wrapped everything up by asking the kids if they wanted "Jesus to come back." Everyone was screaming "yes, yes." Then he proceeded to tell them that Jesus could not come back until everyone in the world "had the chance to be saved." Therefore, we have to GO!!!
At first, I was appalled that there were all of these students that were joyfully applauding this man's foolishness. Then something greater than that struck me...their leaders are in it and encouraging it as well!
I was sick. I was angry. Sadly, this type of foolishness goes on far too often in the name of "Youth Evangelism." It is time that we stop playing our little games and imitating the world, and we return to the preaching of the gospel. For it is the power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes. Romans 1:16