It’s funny. As I was preparing for tonight’s message at youth worship I actually had to stop and laugh. We’re starting a 4 week series on Jesus: The Ultimate Rebel. I had to laugh at myself. Let me give you some background.
I grew up in a very TRADITIONAL church. I mean it was suit and tie every Sunday, you WENT to Sunday School or else sorta deal. I grew to HATE suits and ties. When I became youth group age our youth group experienced a radical growth. There were often around 20 or so of us there. So one Sunday I told my friends “Hey lets all show up to church in blue jeans and tshirts and see what happens.” That Sunday we did just that. Of course there was the normal church belly aching about how the youth don’t look nice and we should want to show God our best clothes when we go to church etc. But no one said anything to us. I later found out my father, a volunteer youth leader, squashed a lot of the commotion but it eventually became the norm for the youth to wear this. Flash forward 15 years and I’m getting ready for church thinking about what tie to wear this morning. When did I get old?!? Mind you I don’t wear a suit and what I do wear is probably considered by most to be dress down. I still rock the blue jeans but they’re nice blue jeans, I wear a modern fit dress shirt untucked with a tie on but the top buttons undone. I also wear my hair in a fauxhawk (I know the typical youth minister hair do, but HEY I value what hair I have left.). But when did I lose my edge? I mean I used to rock out the ripped jeans and tshirt to Sunday morning service.
Isn’t this the story of the church though? When did Christianity lose its edge? Christianity was considered at one time to be very counter cultural, and certainly still is. He rebel against everything that he world holds dear. We love our enemies, we help the poor, we care for the less fortunate, and we love one another…Yep I went there. Maybe the truth is we don’t do a very good job of those things. Maybe church has become just another cool thing to do. One thing I value about my job as youth minister is I stand in the gap. I stand between the young hearts that are on fire for God and would do anything for him and the older generation who have the experience. It’s a privilege and a honor to do that too.
As I get ready for worship tonight I pondering what to wear. I think I may just bust out some torn up jeans and a hoodie tonight. I’m sure when I go to evening service tonight I’ll get odd looks from everyone but it’ll be cool to get that edge back, even for one night. But what about the church? Let’s get that edge back. Let’s make the church not another cool place to go and hang out but a place where people meet Christ, where they see his love at work. Not for just one night, not just for a revival or outreach but all day long 24/7. Let’s be rebels for Christ!