I’ve been leading worship since 2000 and yes; our youth band name was Last Breath. So intense. Our name wasn’t nearly as good/bad as my buddies across town whose name was Way of Salvation. Needless to say, youth worship band names are always the best/worst.
I also remember the days of transparencies, kumbaya camp fires and Michael W. Smith’s “Friends are Friends Forever” being the camp anthem. My Dad was a youth pastor for many years so I’ve seen quite a bit in my short time here. I can remember how many youth ministers would kill for bigger budgets. We needed more money to invest into our youth program. Our peavey sound systems weren’t cutting it and we wanted bigger and better. Surely once our youth band sounded better then God would move more mightily in our youth services?
Fast-forward to 2014 and man how times have changed. I’ve led worship in youth rooms that Coldplay would be very impressed with the gear. We’ve thrown so much money into the desire to make our spaces the place to be. The cool youth room was the goal. I’ve even been to small country churches that have amazing sound systems and light rigs that blew my mind.
So now that a lot of churches have what we desired for so long (better sound systems, cooler rooms, better bands, etc…), the question is Are We Happy Now? Did that new light rig or 32 channel mixer help us get the results we wanted? Are our students falling more in love with Jesus due to our expensive, modern looking hang out spaces?
I challenge all of you as youth leaders to contemplate where our priorities should be. I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit doesn’t give a rip whether we have cool rooms or we’re in a gym. He just wants to be desired and given freedom to move.
Let me know what you think in the comment section!