Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Why Don Draper would be the best Youth Pastor in America...
OK...so I'll admit it. I've been watching Mad Men Season 1 the past couple of days. And my synopsis of the show is just a little above, "Meh." It's just interesting enough to me to keep me watching. It's not like the two season Lost marathon that Corrine and I did when we got home from the hospital with Melody. No no, THAT was almost feeding an addiction, Mad Men is like drinking Diet Coke. You want something to drink and there's nothing in the fridge except your mom's Caffeine Free Diet Coke...so you drink it as a last resort.
Anywho, Mad Med is a show set in the 60's about a particular advertising agency in Manhattan...on Madison Avenue...that's where they get the name, Mad(ison Avenue) Men. So it's interesting enough (mostly cause I like old stuff and this period intrigues me).
The characters' goal is to get clients to buy into and utilize their advertising...thus keeping them in business, paying their bills, and continuing their ploy. Don Draper is the main character that seems to be an all star on the creative team...basically he's in charge of coming up with the tag lines and bases for the campaigns. It's his job to "Get them involved."
So I was thinking about this concept this morning and it was sounding really really familiar. Then I watched the YS Podcast for this week where Wayne Rice said many good things and went over some of the history of YS and where they've come from and what they've done. But then towards the end of his talk he mentioned (mostly in passing so it wasn't a main point...but it clicked), "...getting the parents involved..."
So I'm sitting here thinking about YM as a whole and how we have this mentality (although I think it's in the early stages of its way out) that as churches, we need to get people involved, we need to sell ourselves to get people interested. And then I asked myself...why? What are we selling? Why do we have to get people involved? What is our main purpose in getting them involved? Is our main focus on relieving ourselves of an overcrowded schedule to ease our stress while adding something to their already full schedule? Is it to fill the pews and sustain our church building? Is our main goal sustaining the life of the church? Or is our main goal in getting people involved to minister to them because they ARE the most important part of our church? Are we doing all this programming and event planning and whatnot to minister to the people that come, or to have a good attendance?
I know the substance over attendance idea is not new and I am not reinventing it whatsoever. But I know, as many other people that work in churches know, that donations and giving to the church is down. With everyone strapped with their finances it seems important to them to pay their own heating bill before thinking of the church's...and I don't blame them for it at all. But the simple truth is that this poor economy is going to end eventually. We will be back where we were in 2002 (but hopefully without all the debt). Jobs will open up, businesses will flourish, new ideas will prosper. BUT, why should we expect giving to continue after all that happens if we're not supporting them when they can't support us? When this storm is over, who's going to come out on top, the church that wanted to get their bills paid and fill their pews? Or the churches that sat with the people and weathered it with them? There is NO substitute for the Word of God. There is NO substitute for compassion and love. And the best part about it all is that it can be freely given and freely received...but we need to have people that are willing to give to those that have none.