During my first year at Florida A&M University, I was told about Set Friday and how much fun it was. I was told the Set would be filled with vendors galore similar to a flea market, and loud music playing with dancing similar to an outdoor club.
I saw what I expected, but what I didn’t expect was the activities going on around the outskirts of the Set.
Right before some people got their groove on to secular music, a few students were nervously passing out orange and green fliers beckoning students to come to bible study.
It was funny to me because some of the ministering students would speak in their softest voice over the loudest music.
Their tactics were obviously not working because more students would go out of their way to avoid the ministering students’ sales pitch and various students would drop the fliers on the ground only a few feet from where it was received.
I think it’s time for some witnessing Christians to go back to the drawing board.
Mary Poppins was on to something when she said a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. While the truth may be a hard pill to swallow, wrapping it with a candy coat of fun could make the task easier.
That analogy can be applied to how churches present themselves to young people.
Time and time again, I have endured church services that have been so dull and repetitive that by the time the sermon rolls around, I’m nodding off as if I took an Ambien pill.
It’s the same order: Praise service, testimony, choir, offering, sermon, benediction, amen.
I’m not saying that worshipping God is sometimes boring, but if we’re giving praise to the almighty, shouldn’t there me a little more pizzazz especially if churches are trying to attract more youth?
I suspect many pastors see young people come to church one Sunday and not come back the next. Why? Chances are that church service was lame and they rather sleep in late.
Being a person who was raised in church, I learned to endure through the same old hymns and, at times, monotone sermons. But for those young people who are trying to come to Christ for the first time, they stand between the hard choices of club life with lots of dancing or opening up the bible to whatever Psalms. Most will not choose the latter.
So how can Christians make the right life look all sparkly to attract to more youth? Play gospel music just as loud as some of these nightclubs, throw Christian parties, don’t stifle a youth’s creativity to praise God, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to reach out.
While the road to salvation may not change, the world certainly does and by that I mean, the same way some of our parents came to Christ, that same formula may not work on the youth now.
Witnessing is important to most religions, but it’s also important to know that the people that are being witnessed to are probably not ready spiritually to make a change of heart right away. Some have to be weaned off of the secular life and that’s a hard process.
Matthew 7:13-14 reads: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
It may take some time, but if Christians show the glamorous side of their living, maybe it won’t be so hard for non-Christians to make a transition.