Dodgeballs getting whipped at dozens of miles per hour. People getting hit in the back, butt, stomach and 2 head shots. Sounds like fun doesn't it? It sure was a great event. We had 6 fringe students, 2 newcomers and a bunch of regulars come out for a 3 hour dodgeball tournament tonight.
We played several styles of dodgeball: Doctor, team vs team, every man for themselves, the growing team. It sure was an amazing night. We took a break in the middle to hydrate with Coke and eat chips, gummy bears and sour patch kids (for those following me that know I'm on the Youth Pastor diet, please note I only had one sip of coke and 3 chips)
When all was said and done I didn't do a single talk. Now I know for a lot of people that is a huge no-no. We always talk about Jesus because it might be the only time those students ever hear about Jesus. And I totally agree it is super important to share Christ with every student we can.
But I also believe that as churches we make it really hard for students to invite friends to church activities. They are scared their friends will reject what they believe or worse yet, think they have been tricked and won't continue to be their friend.
To counteract this I have decided that on occassion I prepare an event that has lots of hype and fun where students can invite their friends to come connect and feel loved. The point of this event is to slowly show their friends how loving our community is and that it is a welcoming and non-hostile place. The hope behind this is the students will make a meaningful connection and come to subsequent events where they can hear the message of Christ.
Some might think it's foolish, but I am hoping the risk will pay. I am trusting Christ will shine through myself and especially my students so others may know him.