“Passionless Christianity has nothing to die for; it practices assimilation, not oddity. Passionless Christians lead sensible lives, not subversive ones; we are benignly ‘nice’ instead of dangerously loving. We become a race of amputees, cutting off passion – that divinely appointed impetus toward the Other – in order to fit in with all the other limbless Christians who are incapable of reaching out. Every now and then we feel a phantom pain, an impulse toward suffering love. But for the most part, we have learned to live without capacity to extend ourselves.”
taken from Practicing Passion: Youth and the quest for a passionate church by Kenda Creasy Dean
So many youth ministries have become passionless. Oh, we’re not boring. A lot of teenagers would say we’re fun and exciting. We have a good show. We have energy. We have hype. We use technology. But there is no passion. No passion for Christ.
All the hype and excitement is easily mistaken for passion. But we have become passionless Christians gathering together in a passionless youth group.
Are you encouraging your students to live like Christ? Or are you encouraging them to become good citizens?
One of my biggest struggles comes from parents. I have met far too many parents who just wanted me (the youth minister) to help their children become good students, good children or just good citizens. They do not really want their children to do anything too strange or different. They want me to teach their children the Bible and go on trips, but don’t schedule it during sports (or my children won’t be there).
What do we do? I think we, youth workers, must help parents rekindle their passion for Christ. We have to teach everyone what it means to follow God (and it’s not about looking good in the community). We must be full of passion ourselves. If we, the spiritual leaders, are not passionate about Christ then neither will our students.
What do you think? Are American churches passionless?