Friday, April 13, 2012

Entertainment vs. Education in the Church

I asked my little brother, Tim, to share some thoughts on his perspective of the Church in the US...


After 6 years of my job, I'm tired. I am not saying that I hate my job. I don't. I look forward to work every day, but I'm tired.

What I "do" is teach middle school kids about God at a private Christian school. And I know that any teacher, even a good one, can get tired when the spring semester comes around. But this exhaustion that I feel is different. It's not from spring fever or having too much to do. It has been building. I am mentally and emotionally tired.

I've wondered why. I thought perhaps it was because I am an introvert in love with a job that surrounds me with people. Or maybe it is the specific age group I teach. But today, I found myself wondering if I feel run down because of something bigger than my job. I think I'm tired because of our culture. More specifically, I think I'm tired of our church culture. Please understand that I don't mean to bash the American church. I love Jesus and his bride and I know how blessed I am to be a part of her. But lately, I have felt my little corner of "church" has become bored. What I mean is that the many of the Christians I know are numb to the epic romance we are invited into. I see this most clearly in my students. If I could be truly honest, my guess is that most of my students do not really care about the stuff I teach. Some of them try to care. They know they should. Many of them may not even realize they are simply going through the motions or pretending. But the boredom is obvious. This is where I start to get tired. Naturally I don't want my students to be bored so I will try to entertain. I come up with polished expositions and elaborate presentations. I develop in-class projects and activities to get the students active and out of their seats. I have learned to adapt to the bored looks on my students faces and constantly find ways to keep them entertained. But the bell rings, they leave the class, and nothing changes. I am not accusing my students as much as making an observation. And while this is an observation of only 6 years, I have seen enough patterns and consistencies in my students to know the boredom is there. That instead of an adventurous relationship with Christ, they have a hollow religion.

I know that not every church is like this, but I do think many are aware of the problem. Because there are a lot of people that are bored with the church, Christians and non-Christians alike. And truth be told, many churches are very entertaining with their polished expositions, elaborate presentations, projects, and activities. But when church is done, people leave the building and nothing changes. Let me say again that I do not mean to judge or condemn the body of Christ, simply to express my sincere confusion. Although what is becoming more clear is that entertainment is not the goal. In fact, entertainment is exhausting for an educator.

So I go home at the end of my day, still loving my job, but trying to think of how to teach kids about God and wondering what happens to bored Christians when they grow up.


Anonymous said...

the truth is that no matter what you do, middle school age kids are still kids and normally don't get super excited about anything in a classroom. it is school after all. i've seen many surprises when these same kids get into their college years and beyond. some kids you thought were on fire for God go the opposite way and some you didn't really think we're going anywhere end up being missionaries, ministers and active Christians in whatever career they choose. you just can't predict so it's better just to keep at it and pray a lot.

Lenore said...

I agree with the above op, teaching kids anything is hard these days but teaching about Jesus is a whole new dimension. It is hard for students to see the relevance or need for Jesus when they have every creature comfort. Don't ever forget that there is an element of spiritual warfare in what we do and that will make you exhausted at times. I like the above op have been very surprised when I have met ex students later in their lives and they are doing amazing things. So don't give up. What you are doing is really important and special.
I do agree that the church generally in western cultures has lost its need to see Jesus making a difference here and now. You though can just do what God has asked you to do here and now. He will take care of the rest.

Amy said...

sac burberry
sac chanel
chaussures nike
porte cles chanel
bracelet louis vuitton
chaussures puma
portefeuille louis vuitton
chaussures louis vuitton
tee-shirts louis vuitton
louis vuitton pas cher
sac juicy
sac louis vuitton 2012
louis vuitton soldes
chaussures jordan hommes
chaussures nike air max hommes
chaussures gucci femmes
chaussures christian louboutin femmes