July 23, 2012 by Daniel Beckworth
Field of Dreams was an excellent movie. Who doesn’t love a bunch of ghosts coming out of a corn patch to play baseball? I sure do. Surely you are aware of the movie’s most iconic line.
“If you build it, they will come.”
And Kevin Costner builds a diamond in the middle of his corn field and they come. Somewhere along the way, the church decided to adopt this motto. We’ve spent our time, money, and resources chasing this dream and at some point we realize it doesn’t always work.
In terms of youth ministry, we live in an ever changing culture that is distancing itself from the church. I’ve been approached by numerous ex-youth pastors who have summed up their philosophy of youth ministry in one sentence, “Back in the day, you could order 50 pizzas and the entire high school would show up at our church for the youth event.” If you’re breathing, you know that method doesn’t work in most places anymore. How often have we fooled ourselves by saying, “If we build a bigger church, they will come” or “If we book a cool worship band, they will come” or “If we act really hip, they will come.“
Field of Dreams is an excellent movie, but it makes an awful philosophy of ministry.
Feedback: What changes can local youth ministries make that could make a healthy impact on attendance?