In a 2005 article about Jonny Cash, Russel D. Moore said something I really like:
Perhaps if Christian churches modeled themselves more after Johnny Cash, and less after perky Christian celebrities… we might find ourselves resonating more with the MTV generation. Maybe if we stopped trying to be “cool,” and stopped hiring youth ministers who are little more than goateed game-show hosts, we might find a way to connect with a generation that understands pain and death more than we think.
People from 12 to 35 are aching for reality. Hollywood proffers reality TV, which only highlights the desperate situation we’re in. But inside, people are dying (often literally) for something true, something serious, something worth holding on to, worth living for.
Too often the version of the “Gospel” that we talk about is to the Gospel of the Bible what grape Kool-Aid is to a robust Cabernet Sauvignon. It goes down sweet, but there’s no sustenance. Whereas Cabernet can be an acquired taste, but it provides heart-strengthening polyphenols. Sure, it can also send you reeling into walls, but so can the Gospel.
I want to encounter the Gospel in all of its life-altering potential. Otherwise, what is the point?