I am a dog. I have allergies that cause me to chew off my own butt. In order to curb my auto-carnivorous tendencies, my master gives me pills.
But I do not like the taste of pills. So, in order to trick me into eating these pills, my master stuffs them into a piece of bread, which I gladly eats because I am a dog and I am dumb.
But kids, in particular youth-group age kids, are not dumb. But you treat them as though they are all the time. You treat them like dumb dogs who need to be tricked into taking their spiritual medicine.
That’s what happens pretty much every time a pastor gets a call from Evangelical publishing companies. They’ve phoned you up because they presume you have the dumb dog and they have the bread-coated pills.
So they offer materials that will make the Gospel fun for teenagers. They’re selling stuff that will emotionally manipulate kids and fill them with such a sense of euphoria that they won’t even realize they’re being tricked by their church into learning boring old God stuff.
But your kids don’t need this stuff. They don’t need tools designed to set their hearts aflutter in order to make a decision for Jesus, because Jesus has already chosen them. They don’t need to be hornswagled into learning about the Cross because they already know that they’re poor, miserable sinners who desperately need the blood of the Lamb.
And so, with the little time you have with them, just spend it giving them that blood, straight up. Save the wadded up piece of Roman Meal for dumb things like me, a dumb, dumb, dumb dog.