“Catechism was something one had to teach in confirmation classes. The disconnect was complete,” so writes Pastor Mike Schroeder on one of the other comment strings on BJS. He is referring to the fact that catechesis and youth ministry get dragged apart in the model of “feel good” gatherings and relevant “teaching” that has taken over the notion of youth work in the LCMS in the last generation.
If I had only one thing to say to our middle of the road and thorough-going church growth readers it would be “Listen to people like Pastor Mark Schroeder.” He and so many others (including me) have been down the path of using church growth tactics to “bring the faith to life.” It is a misleading road that takes the church away from an emphasis on Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins and the one thing alone that delivers that good – the means of grace.
Here is the comment Pastor Schroeder wrote. It is comment #9. (Note: Yaconelli and Rice are noted youth “ministry” innovators and are used in this comment as a symbol of all that was funky and cool in youth work for the last generation.)
In my first years of pastoral ministry I was a regular subscriber to Youth magazine and would read everything Yaconelli/Rice would write, and Catechism was something one had to teach in confirmation classes. The disconnect was complete. I have since repented. And since then it seems that the 60s/post-Enlightenment captivity of the Church has not been broken. This is sad. Truly our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities in the heavenly places: Prayer and Liturgy, the Word of God. I not only thank Rev. Fisk for the video and Brian for his recommendation but add to both the Amen!
Thank you Pastor Schroeder for that great line: “the disconnect was complete.” Thanks to you and all the humble, Christ-centered and cross-focused people on this website, at Issues, Etc., and throughout Confessional Lutheranism; the connection is being made between simple catechetical instruction and a really “living faith.”