In a sermon on February 28, 2016, Andy told his congregation “if you don’t go to a large church, you are so stinking selfish…and don’t care about your kids.” See a two minute segment of this message here…
Needless to say, this comment went viral and Andy received all kinds of grief about it. Well, Andy issued an apology of sorts. You can see and read it here:
To me, Andy’s apology revealed a much bigger problem. Here’s what I wrote on Facebook…
Andy Stanley’s “apology” exposes the real problem. In this interview, he talks about how grateful he was that 4,600 middle school students spent the weekend at the church. “Imagine if every middle school kid in America had an opportunity to experience this kind of content, accountability and love.”
The underlying message is “Parents, send you kids to church. We’ll create great programs that will disciple them for you.” I’m sure they don’t intend that message but it is, none the less, what is communicated.
I would be way more impressed if Andy was grateful that 4,600 parents of middle school students spent the weekend at the church learning how to disciple their children.
Reggie McNeal in “The Present Future” writes, “We typically hire children’s and student ministers to run programs for children and young people. In fact, this approach by the church may do more to decimate the home as a spiritual center than anything coming into the home on television or the Internet.” p. 88.
And, I would add that the bigger and more exciting the program, the more decimating to the home it is. (How can anything at home compete with this?!)
Finally, isn’t it time to step back and evaluate youth ministry in general? Never in the history of the world have there been more or better age segregated ministries – youth groups of every kind, youth retreats and conferences, youth concerts, Young Life, Youth for Christ, Campus Crusade, etc.
The net result? An increasingly secular, post Christian culture.
When will we get desperate enough that we will return to the Biblical idea of the home as the center of spiritual life?
Source: The Look 10 Community