After sharing how amazing Youth 2007 was (which it truly was), I feel I need to address some slight reservations I brought back from the experience. One of the best parts of the week was being able to hear some great Christian bands. Yet something about their 'performances' just didn't seem right to me. The bands gave great shows. The music was loud and exhilarating. The lyrics were positive and infectious. But when I looked down onto the Coliseum floor and saw hundreds of kids jumping and reaching out their hands to the band and 'moshing' and crowd surfing in the midst of what was supposed to be a worship service, I wondered, "Who are we really worshipping?"
It is not my intention to 'dis' the bands in any way. And I certainly don't think music has to be boring to be worshipful. It was actually nice to feel the rhythm in your bones as the coliseum pulsated with the music. Yet I couldn't help but wonder whether the screaming youth were more excited about worshipping God or the cute boys on stage.
Either way, let me say that I would much prefer my youth group kids to be dancing and 'moshing' and crowd surfing to this music rather than some of the stuff you hear on the radio. My pondering really is more focused on the question of what it means to worship. What makes worship worship. I know there are changes with every generation, so maybe this form of worship doesn't speak to me as much because I am getting older. (There's nothing like being a chaperon for six teenagers for a week to make you feel old!) That said, how does one create a meaningful, worshipful experience for youth that they will connect with on more than an entertainment level?
The bands at Youth 2007 did a great job creating energy and enthusiasm which, then, the speakers engaged toward the theme of the week ~ Seek, Pray, Learn, Act, Teach. Maybe that's the key in this media savvy age. I thank Youth 2007 for igniting these questions within me.... Who knows what I'll be pondering after Youth 2011?