Friday, May 1, 2009

Spiritual Renewal from a Clown Suit

When the youth group at our church was just a handful of teens that gathered in our home each week, we often dreamed of what would happen if God were to bring about a major spiritual movement among teens in our community. Since then our youth group has grown far more than we could have imagined. Now over 120 young people are on the roll and 60 or more of them gather for the weekly meeting which long ago outgrew our home. They come from all walks of life but the common bond is the sense of “belonging” they get from being part of a community of grace and truth that our church has created for them.

Recently we were having a special youth worship service and I challenged the young people to have 75 teens present. Though we seldom have trouble gathering a large crowd for our weekly meeting, we are not always as successful at getting them to come to an actual worship experience. So 75 was a challenging goal for them to have for an actual worship service. To sweeten the pot I promised them that if they achieved the goal, I would preach the following Sunday in a clown suit.

They put the word out to their friends and on the appointed day they exceeded the goal and had 79 teens present, plus about 20 youth workers and chaperons. True to my word, the following Sunday I preached in a clown suit during our regular worship service. It was a little awkward. I didn't exactly take a course on preaching in clown suits in seminary. But I got through it. A large group of teens joined with our regular attendees to witness the experience. The Lord was gracious and many of those present were faced with making spiritual choices that they had not thought about before. Without question we are beginning to witness a significant spiritual movement among teenagers in our community. Our original dream of seeing such a movement is rapidly becoming reality.

When I look back at the pictures, I still can’t quite believe I preached on a Sunday morning in a clown suit! But then I think about what Jesus had to do bring about my own salvation, and preaching in a clown suit does not seem too much after all.

Learn more about reaching young people in Dr. Terry Dorsett's book, Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church.

1 comment:

  1. Well, Terry,
    You know what Paul said: "...all things to all people...." I guess that includes preaching in a clown suit.
    Jim Wrenn