In a few minutes I will get in my Honda Accord and drive back out to Beech Springs, where the 1st and 2nd graders from FBC are having Kidz Kamp.
Last night, I had the wonderful privilege of not only preaching to these wild, smelly, and precious children – but sleeping in the same bunk area with 20 other boys.
The sweet smell of wet towels, socks, dirt, sweat, Oreos, Cool Ranch Doritos, SpeedStick deo, beef jerky, and unflushed toilets filled the air. Ahhh. . .
Tonight, I get to preach to these kids again. I love it.
I noticed 2 things last night I wanted to pass on for what it’s worth:
1. Kids still need and are hungry for God.
2. Kids are different today than when I was a kid.
I noticed fire in some of their eyes when I preached on how strong God is and how he delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace. I saw hunger from their expressions for more of the power and greatness of God. Kids need to know this God! They want to know the God of the Bible! This has always been the case and is very true today.
But they are oh so different. Last night, when lights went out in our bunk, they weren’t saying goodnight to Jon Boy or Mary Ellen. No, they were saying good night to the Sandman, the Boogey Man, the Man in the Moon, and the Easter Bunny (“Rise of the Guardians”). They were humming the song associated with ‘Angry Birds.’ They wanted to play games on my phone. Their Bible’s were either hot pink or camouflage. They had never heard of Michael Jordan nor had a clue of what a Gameboy is.
I didn’t ask, but I assume they had never seen a tape player, heard music from a CD, or watched a VHS movie. They’ve never NOT known the internet or cell phones, Twitter or Facebook.
What’s the take away? To be relevant to the next generation NEVER means stop giving them the truth of who God is and how He works. No. No. No. They need and want God now more than ever. To be relevant is to do the hard work of figuring out how to best communicate the same biblical truths in a way that they ‘get.’
It’s not going to look like it did 10, 15, 20, 30, or 40 years ago. It can’t. The bottom line truths and message MUST stay the same. But how it’s done? That must change if we want to keep and attract ’em.
I gotta go. I gotta make sure the toilets get flushed before bed time!