Rob, of Love and Blunder, has an excellent commentary on a recent article posted at Associated Baptist Press. The article is entitled Speakers predict sermons will change in next wave of postmodern worship. Seems like lots of my evangelical readers have been blessed with rock-solid churches, but that was not my experience. Many of the mega-churches seem to be throwing out Jesus and the Word and replacing it with logic and reasoning, mixed in with emotion-based entertainment; this change is found in worship and in the education programs of the church, such as confirmation and Sunday school.
If this post's title doesn't make sense, read the related posts below. If you are in a rush, I will just summarize those posts by saying that the world we and our kids face today is tough and they need to know more than trendy songs. Our God is an Awesome God is a catchy tune, but does it prepare us for facing sin and temptation on a daily basis? Maybe. But, knowing "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." would be more a little more useful when a teen is pressuring another teen for sex. We all need to be well-trained in God's Word, since that is how He speaks to us today. My church just added a year to the formal confirmation training, which along with fun events and singing, involves scripture memorization and thorough three-year study of God's Holy Word and Luther's Small Catechism. (Don't be thrown off by the study of Luther's Small Catechism; it is a thorough summary of the Christian faith and is useful for instructing new and young Christians.) The program is taught by our pastors and includes lots of discussion and pratical application. Our pastors even utilize all the senses to help the kids stay awake and interested. But it is often boring, just as any in-depth training can be at times. We parents encourage our kids and remind them of how important and useful their confirmation program is. We study the lessons together and relearn it ourselves.
My daughter recently learned the Latin word, confirmare. I was struck by its meaning: to strengthen, to declare, to make firm. That is what we do in confirmation: strengthen our kids and then they declare that they want to continue as adult Christian members of the church, then the pastor introduces them as such. The three years of hard work pays off and we all celebrate the end of their childhood training and the beginning of lifelong learning of scriptures.
Lack of doctrine among U.S. teens