Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Youth Pastors...did you get this one?

I got a promo dvd in the mail from Acquire the Fire & Battle Cry pumping up their tour.

The cover reads, "WHO WILL RISE UP AND SAVE OUR YOUTH?"

I thought about the question: "Hmm...good question...what could the answer be?"
I'm still trying to figure it out, but I think the answer might have something to do with Easter.


10 Comments:

Blogger Rev. Johnny Agurkis said...

Don't even get me started on this...

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Brian Eberly said...

You are exactly right.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your kidding, by this comment, right? It's these kind of comments by other Youth Pastor's that makes my job as a YP so difficult. I reach out to agnostics/athesists/ in my community and I defintely need to "rise up" out of my chair and seek God more and find creative ways to reach them. Why would you make light of a ministry trying to provoke teenagers to live out their faith? Can you imagine people doing that to your ministry? As a YP, I would never make light of a ministry technique you are doing. If I had a problem, I would talk to you one on one, not in a blog where everyone would read it and it would cause more division than unity. After reading your little snipet about Battlecry, I cringe to read Jesus's words, that they will know we are His disciples by our love for one another. Use your blog to promote unity, not to slam your brothers/sisters.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Slam Battle Cry? Far from it...I gave them free advertising.

No where did I say anything positive or negative about Battle Cry. My comment was a reminder to my fellow youth pastors to remember, as Louis Giglio reminded us some years back, "I Am Not." There is a savior, and I am not Him. Maybe your job wouldn't be so difficult if you understood this as well. (And I say that with all sincerity and no sarcasm whatsoever. Our jobs are difficult at times, and we don't need to make them more difficult by elevating ourselves to a status that isn't ours.)

Finally, I'd like to point out the irony of your statements about "face to face" "unity" and "not slamming," anonymous. Kinda funny, no? 8)

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear ya. I didn't read your words completely. Only reason I selected anonymous was b/c I don't have a google account. I have taken my students to Planet Wisdom, ATF, Hot Hearts, etc and see the value in each. I just read so much from blogs that create a bitterness toward certain ministries where I enjoy diversity of thought that each ministry focuses on. Keep up your good working in the youth area.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Fair enough. I too am bothered by criticism that calls into question another person's relationship with Christ or is designed only to discredit another ministry.

Having said that, I do think it is important to discuss issues and methods (without getting personal or trying to discredit) otherwise we never hear "diversity of thought", right? So, yeah, as you rightly guessed, I'm not a big fan of Battle Cry's methods and the theology behind their methods. I don't, however, question Ron Luce's heart or sincerity. Nor do I feel I slammed them in any way on my blog. I did raise some questions about the assumptions inherent in their advertising and what that implies to youth pastors and leaders. I think that's a fair thing to do in a somewhat public forum.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Benjer said...

At first I agreed with your post, Brian, and for a few minutes felt very proud of my humility in realizing that I am not Jesus. Then I got to thinking about the book of Judges, which describes human leaders who "rose up" to save Israel. Could this be a reference to this? I totally agree that we as youth pastors are not the Savior. However, in a sense, this advertising could be biblical if it comes from a correct interpretation and application of Judges.

That being said, I had a hard time finding any information on this on a five-minute trip around their website.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Benjer,

I suppose it could have something to do with Judges. To be sure, how I responded to their ad was colored by my previous experience with ATF and Battle Cry. Obviously we need, as pastors, to act, to do something. But, given my experience with ATF and Battle Cry, I found the wording of the ad incredibly ironic.

BTW...skimmed your blog, good stuff on equipping the saints.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Tony Myles said...

I affirm your post, Brian... I just asked Acquire the Fire to take our church off their mailing list, too. The gal on the other end of the phone couldn't understand why.

By the way... that was a month ago and I keep receiving stuff.

I've been to the conventions and know friends who served in its Texas academy. Is God using ATF? Sure - no question.

But where I struggle is that it is incomplete in getting kids fired up to not accept the culture in front of them but not really helping them see the redemptive potential in it. We adopt an "us" versus "them" philosophy through this and I get the sense we're supposed to be in the world while not being of it... not just "not being of it."

The formula: "Come to our yearly convention" + "Come to our monthly gatherings" + "Come to our daily web site" + "Come to our mission trip" + "Come to our academy" = discipleship? Granted, churches do the same thing sometimes which makes it nor more valid of an approach.

Perhaps our focus should be more on being missional in our culture versus getting fired up about it outside of it.

I say this publicly because this is the topic at hand and I wanted to affirm it. I'd never go out of my way to bring this conversation up unless it's already happening, but I'd rather support organizations like Pray With Youth (praywithyouth.org) and Sonlife (sonlife.com) who equip students and churches to do life together with culture and not separate from it.

Again, both these and ATF are biblical... but I think ATF should complete a redemptive sentence and not stop short at separation through battle cries.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

See, Tony, this is why you are a good blogger and I'm only a good blog reader; You summed up my post, in the comment section no less, better than I was able to write it. (Of course, in fairness to myself, I was being minimalistic with my use of words and trusting others to draw the conclusions with little to work with.)

Btw, I think they've finally stopped calling me, but the mail still comes, obviously.

4:43 PM  

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