"Christians don't change culture by critiquing culture. They change culture by making culture." - Andy Crouch

I heard from a girl who visited our youth group this past week.  She had some encouraging words about how welcome she felt, and thanked us for that.  I've always hoped that more than anything else, students would feel welcomed, accepted, and loved - just as they are - in our gatherings.  If they don't feel welcomed and loved by us, I feel like we're hindering the message of a God who welcomes and loves them.

Her comment, though it was encouraging, made me realize again that every time a young person walks through our doors, they enter in to a culture that we've created.  They'll either feel accepted or rejected, welcomed or shunned, encouraged or torn down, loved or ignored.

I want to make sure that we don't spend our time bashing "the world" and talking about what a dark place it is, and offer nothing alternative in return.  Instead, I want to present to students an alternative culture and way - one based on the radical and relentless love of Jesus.

What kind of culture are you creating in your youth ministry?


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