4 orignal x-boxes that can play Halo against each other
Multiple Copies of Banana Grams
DJ Laser that covers an entire room in laser dots.
All of this stuff is really cool. At least cool to me. But I can't help wondering about a bigger conversation that is happening in Youth Ministry conversations: Is using toys to draw teens into a youth group healthy, beneficial, practical and theologically responsable? This is a question I'm chewing on quite a bit. It also has major implications for the YMS ministry Youth Forum started last year. I'm going to take a few days and really mull it over and hack out some thoughts for this blog.
My gut re-action is: if a toy creates an environment that a teenager wants to be in, that they might not otherwise consider, it becomes a vehicle for the Gospel and discipleship. As long as the means doesn't become the end. In other words, toys can not become our God. God must be our God. Having focus and balance on the right things is key. I will pushing against these thoughts in a later post, but I'd love to hear your opinion...
Things to consider: is this really secret materialism? Are we cheeping the power of the Gospel on it's own? Is the risk of losing focus to great? Is this simply only "in the world" thinking? Did Christ use toys, the disciples, Paul, early church leaders?
Join to conversation! When you were in high school, were you involved in a Youth Group? What got you there? Did you stay? Did you stay long term? Why?
To those friends in ministry, do you use toys? In what capacity?