Keeping youth ministry simple.

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I guess, maybe, sometimes we just try too hard.

And that’s why it surprised me a little when the church group hosting their high school retreat at camp this weekend told me they wouldn’t need the projector in the chapel during worship, because they wouldn’t be projecting the lyrics, or videos, or scriptures, or anything, for that matter.

So, lesson learned. Because this morning when just over 50 high schoolers gathered at nine on a Saturday to worship, the leaders were side-by-side with the students, doing their devotions next to the students, and worshiping alongside their students… and not running around trying to get slides ready, or motion video backgrounds to work.

It wasn’t that they were taking the opportunity to worship lightly.

I don’t think they were settling for less than their best for God.

I think they had decided that for this weekend, for these moments, there was something more important than what was on the screen.

It was more important to be present with their students.

It was more important to model lives and hearts of worship.

It was more important to focus their attention on God, than on the screen.

In 2 Corinthians 11:3, Paul writes, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

Now, I’m not mad at you when you use your projector. I’m not anti-PowerPoint or anti-ProPresenter. I’m not judging your character or spirituality or philosophy of ministry. I’m just saying, that maybe we all need to learn a lesson from a simple high school weekend retreat: that sometimes, especially when it comes to devotion to Christ, simpler really is better.

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