I appreciated Drew Dyck’s article, “The Red Bull Gospel” featured at christianitytoday.com, as far as it goes. It’s a pretty good analysis of the weaknesses of current model of youth ministry that focus heavily on entertainment to the detriment of formation and mission. However, it doesn’t go far, or wide, enough!
If our strategy is to win young people’s allegiance to church by offering better entertainment than the world, then we’ve picked a losing battle. Entertainment might get kids to church in their teens, but it certainly won’t keep them there through their twenties. – Drew Dyck
Dyck limits his comments to the state of youth ministry, but the same could be said of ministry to college students. There is a lot of room for the deepening of collegiate ministry. What could also be said, but almost never is, is that what “keeps kids in church” in college is not what will keep them there in graduate school or as a young professional.
College ministry often repeats the same errors of youth ministry. Often there is little to no intellectual formation to help a college student understand that her faith (which is also “the faith,” i.e., it has a content) is not a private belief system that never collides with the assumptions of culture, profession, and work place. Rather, Jesus is Lord not only of mind but of heart as well and of checkbook, pantry, and garage.
So I say, “Amen!” to Drew’s article, but quickly add: “Take it further!”