In a Fox News.com story (April, 2004), Paul Boutin, contributing editor at Wired magazine said, “ ... I really think that if Jesus were around today, he would have a blog.” [Check out this Wired article: What would Jesus Blog?]
Boutin added, “To kids today, the Internet is what rock ‘n’ roll was to another generation and TV was to the one before that and swing dancing was to the one before that. Kids aren't going to go to some stuffy church with stained-glass windows. They want to get online.”
My Space and Facebook are not exactly cutting-edge topics, but I think we forget what a great tool an online presence is for reaching kids.
We who blog know that there is indeed a new type of community on line. It can't (shouldn't) replace face-to-face contact (I've got another post brewing on that), but its relevance cannot be denied. I consider so many of you real friends, even if friendship is getting a bit of a definition redesign in this respect.
If you want to reach kids, you've got to get on line. It's where they live.
Does your youth staff have a blog? If so, I'd like to hear about it.
In another vein of communicating with youth, I have a friend who said she has texted her son from the other room in their house, and not in a jok-ey way, but to really ask him something. We laughed about it, but it's a reality. Again, it's where they live. My husband and I have found out that texting our son at college is a much more reliable way of reaching and getting a response from him than emailing or calling. Can't explain, just know the empirical evidence.
One danger of ministering to kids online is abuse, of course. That's a whole 'nother topic.
Speaking of the precarious Internet, my daughter went to a purity retreat this weekend at Oneighty, where among other topics, Brandon Piety from xxxchurch.com spoke about addiction to p*rn.
It was kind of funny because when my husband dropped her off, there as loud as Joan Rivers on the red carpet was a xxx vehicle emblazoned with "xxxchurch.com, the number one Christian po*n site." Somehow, you just don't expect to see that at a purity retreat. But it has to be addressed in a way beyond the traditional: "It's so bad for you."
Not everyone likes the organization's methodology. One critic at xxxchurchtruth.com said,
Having recovered from pornography myself I understand that one of the basic tenets of Biblical and even worldly addiction recovery is radical amputation. A person in recovery must completely remove all reminders and triggers of their old life in order to be successful. These pastors are bringing triggers to the pulpit.
I do not question their faith or their motives. In fact, I like these guys. Who wouldn't? Combine the irrefutable nobility of their cause with their hip, affable nature and you have a winning package. Unfortunately I think their allure blinds some people to the error of some of their strategies.
Do you think xxx Church's method is too brazen and gimmicky? Do you think the organization is trying to be sensational?
Recently I read that in one survey of 1000 Christians, 50% of males view por*n and 20% of women do. How depressing.
Many, many pastors are ensnared in this sin, one of the last taboos to be addressed from the pulpit. The result is, they go deeper and deeper into secrecy because there is no grace anywhere for a pastor ensnared in this stronghold.
All of this is so hurtful and sad and maddening. But it's not going away. We have to face it without flinching. Because the p**n industry doesn't bat an eye at destroying our families and children.