Why I’m going to stop using the word “fun” to describe our church programs…

Nurturing joy. Another post from the archives.

Christine V Hides

IMG_20141116_103706_393 One of our prayer stations.

On a youth mission trip several years ago, our group experienced the ultimate “fun” youth group. We visited a converted warehouse worship service complete with sports, video games, laser lights, bounce houses, rock climbing wall… you name it they had it. After a brief time with the activities it was time for the worship service complete with laser lights, loud guitars, jumbo trons and fog machines. Talk about fun! How could my youth not love this? I worried that they wouldn’t want to come home to our cozy, traditional church. At that evening’s debriefing my youth told me they disliked it. A lot.  It was “too loud, too crowded, too chaotic.” And, one student said it seemed like a bribe.

This last summer we stayed home for mission week. An intergenerational group painted, cleaned, landscaped and worked. Hard. In the afternoon, we regrouped back at…

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