I attended an Iowa campus ministers’ meeting today. One of the points touched on was the value of mentoring young people. Young people in ministry have a fire and a drive. They want to do great things, and sometimes the helpful guidance of a mentor is just what is needed to give a little perspective. We weren’t talking about this story, but this umb-dass idea for youth ministry is illustrative to the extreme:
(John) Lanza, who has served as pastor at the church for about a year, said the teen made no indication that she had injuries during the raid.
He said he views this incident as a learning experience.
What can one learn from this? Lying to teens is generally counterproductive to trust … Christians make convincing terrorists … Keeping parents in the loop can be helpful to youth ministry. What about the king of them all: the ends never justify the means.
To tell the truth, martyrdom is pretty serious business. But few people are called to give life for the Gospel. More common, and far more destructive is the small chippings away of people of faith. From the dawn of one day to its dusk, people who are a little less trustworthy, who concede a little more to the mob spirit of the times, who insist on preaching the easy way out, the cheap grace of either an imagined persecution, or the notion that any well-intentioned idea is a good one, no matter how it might seem to someone else.