Going to Battle as a Cool Youth Pastor

If you happen to see the latest Spider-Man movie, you will remember that almost all the actors who have played Spider-Man in live-action reunite to fight evil in the film. However, before the big fight, a line is made about the clothing choice of one of the Spider-Men, who is described as dressing "like a cool youth pastor." Why do I bring this up? This Spider-Man movie targets millennials (the generation consisting of adults 40 years or younger). According to Christopher Caldwell of the New York Times, Millenials are the first generation, where Christians are in the minority. When Kayla and I went to see the movie, our theater exploded in laughter during this scene.

I don't think this reflects a hatred of Christianity. Instead, I must credit Kevin Fontenot for his Twitter posts on this, I think it shows our culture's rejection of how youth ministry has historically been done. For many youth pastors in years past, they have attempted to reach the next generation by dressing in ways that teens consider "stylish," making a movie and music reference in their sermon to make it "cooler," etc. I have even heard of youth pastors cussing with their teenagers in an attempt to be seen as "cool." It is clear that our culture has rejected this attempt, and rightfully so.

Parents, your teenager does not need you or me to be "cool" or "relevant." We should model the joy that comes from following Christ, instead of the fleeting happiness that comes from the world. We should not care if our students think we are cool or "hip." We should be concerned if we are faithfully discipling them to be more and more like Jesus. Your child does not need a cool parent. They need a Christ-like parent. Your teenager does not need a cool or hip youth pastor. They need a Biblically faithful youth pastor who is passionate about seeing teenagers grow to be more like Christ. .

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