"The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them...providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church...the need is for Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt that it sets men aflame.” --Charles Spurgeon
I think this specifically relates to youth groups. The Barna Group has the numbers. Entertaining the kids doesn't work. So why do we keep doing it? This is a question I ask often. Is it because we have pride and don't want to admit that our little youth experiment failed? I think it is probably that it makes sense, therefore it should work. I mean, why doesn't it work?
It doesn't work because it was never in God's plan to replace the father discipling the children with youth groups and children's programs.
I read a book I got from our church library called the Open Church. In it the author talked about the history of churches. He stated that the very early church met in houses and when the meeting place got full, they split and started meeting in even more houses. Now, they didn't have sound systems, bands, lights, curriculum, programs, games, ice breakers, or any of the stuff we have now. How is it that they were ON FIRE! Is it possible we are trying to substitute an emotional experience for true salvation and could this be the reason why so many churches are just fizzling out instead of "spreading like wildfire".
One last point, If we are to take the verse below to heart, how can we mix worship and outreach, or discipleship and outreach. If unbelievers feel comfortable at our churches week after week, without salvation, then we are NOT being the light we are supposed to be.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14