Before you follow this link to iMonk please note that I am a pastor in a very-well-to suburban church and have been for a long time. I like our church and I like what we do and I believe we are pursuing God. But I have to agree with iMonk that there is a very real danger in being in a church like ours. I saw it as a youth pastor. I see it today as an Executive Pastor. Whether we fully agree with all his points we certainly must be aware of this very real concern.
The danger? iMonk writes …
Suburban Christianity is frequently not about an honest following of Jesus. It’s about an edited, reworked Jesus who blesses the American way of life and our definition of normal and happy.
It’s Jesus the sponsor of our beautiful church. It’s Jesus the bus driver of the ticket to heaven. It’s Jesus the guy who wants us to be nice to children. It’s Jesus who presides over all kinds of niceness.
Hey….I can get that from Tony Robbins or Oprah. I don’t need to dilute the demanding, revolutionary promises of Jesus into the suburban American Dream. I can get that life from someone who makes no more demands on me than buying a book.
I too have at stories I could tell of those who had parents that affirmed God’s call in their kid’s life as long as it involved being mostly safe, didn’t take them too far away, or ruin chances for grandkids. And I can also tell stories of those who followed “God’s call” not to follow God but to find adventure, run away from parents, or to be with their friends – so I know how important it is to listen to wisdom from people of godly character.
But the danger is still real.
It is encouraging to find a growing trend among students. Check out this site – I’m almost persuaded to return to being a youth pastor!