Saturday, June 27, 2009

#32 Youth Pastors

While white Christians love babies, teenagers are a lot to handle. They are beginning to make decisions for themselves, which terrifies their parents. Nothing keeps parents up at night like the thought of their teenager getting frisky with a member of the opposite sex.

Parents could sit their teenager down for a very awkward discussion about sex before marriage, but they prefer to outsource this task. If there are at least 10 adolescents in the church, the parents will seek out a hip guy in his 20's or 30's to do their dirty work. If this outgoing guy can play guitar and has a goatee, he will probably be offered a full time position at the church as "youth pastor."

Since youth pastors were born within 15 years of the youth group members, they are the sole authority figure that teens can relate to. The youth pastor has at least heard of the bands they listen too and, unlike their parents, he does not talk about "getting a Facebook," refer to the internet as "the world wide web," or type his name at the end of his text messages.

Youth pastors should also be adept at picking a cool name for the youth group. Anything with purposefully misspelled words like "X-treme Youth" or "Nu Creation" works great, but don't forget acronyms - "TLC - Teens Loving Christ" or "FIRE - Faith Igniting Radical Energy." After selecting the name, a youth pastor will order a few hundred shirts emblazoned with the logo he created in Microsoft Paint. However, only a few people will bring the $10 for their shirt and he will be forced to try to give the rest away as prizes for wacky youth group games over the next decade. By the time all the shirts have been handed out he will be too old to be a youth pastor, so someone new will step in and repeat this cycle.
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

#31 Flannelgraphs

White Christians love all things soft. From comfy choir robes to carpeted aisles, with padded pews, and even felt-lined offering plates, white Christians have a long-term relationship with the soft-knock life. Perhaps nowhere is this more prominently displayed (on an easel no less) than flannelgraphs.

Used primarily for Sunday School Bible stories, flannelgraphs combine the 3 S's of children's ministry: Sunday School, Salvation, and softness.

In fact, white Christians were so inspired by the 2 dimensional felt representation of Bible stories that they felt (pun intended) it necessary to move into the next dimension by shaping felt into puppets for
puppet ministry (flannelgraph's younger, hipper, nephew).

The flannelgraph truly is a model of flexibility. These terrific teaching tools typically come in four distinct flannel-lined backgrounds:

Aquatic Marine Adventure: For Bible stories like Noah and the ark, Jesus calming the storm, etc.

Khaki Desert Wasteland: The Battle of Jericho, Manna from Heaven... basically the majority of the Old Testament. Characters used in conjuction with this background typically wear a robe, beard, and a colorful head-towel of some kind.

Luscious, Luscious, Sunny Green-Garden: From the garden of Eden to the garden of Gethsemane. This really is your bread and butter, go-to flannelgraph.

Classic 80's Blue: If you didn't recognize any of the three previous options from your Sunday School experience, chances are you grew up before turn of the century and before all of these new-fangled backgrounds were invented. This design has the unique feature of allowing the viewer to imagine the setting as Bible characters hovered in a sea of blue felt.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

#30 Combined Summer Services

White Christians love to attend church on Sunday mornings - they get to hear scripture broken down into the original Hebrew or Greek, they can wear casual attire, and don't forget fellowship with other believers over coffee following the service. There's no place the white Christian would rather be... unless it is nice outside.

During the summer months, hardly a white Christian can be found in church - if you are looking for one, head to the beach or the park. As a result, churches will combine the traditional and contemporary services into one so the white Christians without lake houses can gather in a half empty sanctuary instead of one that is three quarters empty.

A great feature of the combined service is a start time of around 10 am. Normally, white Christians must choose between a service that starts too early and one that starts too late. However, the combined service can lead to conflict, as white Christians may be appalled to find someone who usually attends the other service sitting in their pew. In addition, since white Christian church members have no contact with members that attend the other service, they don't know how to differentiate between other members and visitors. This makes greeting difficult, as white Christians feel compelled to aggressively welcome visitors, but don't want to embarrass themselves by trying to escort an elder to the information kiosk.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Guest Post

Be sure to check out Andrew's hilarious guest post on the Facebook page - "Reclaiming Stuff for the Kingdom." 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

#29 Puppet Ministry

It has been said that there are two things that separate us from the animals: souls and opposable thumbs. Well, both of these items are on prominent display with the 29th white Christian like: Puppet Ministry.

Since they constantly seek new and exciting outlets for children's ministries, it should be no surprise that white Christians have stumbled upon puppet ministry as a viable option for the entertainment and Biblical training of their children.

Like the
potluck, this white Christian activity may be a difficult one to understand at first. Upon closer examination, however, puppet ministry was an inevitable development- you just need to think beyond these fuzzy little characters whose goodness or evil is as easily identifiable as the thickness and angle of their felt eyebrows (SPOILER ALERT: thick + slanted = evil, thin + parabolic = good).

It's not only the actual puppets that white Christians like, it's the puppet teams and puppet culture surrounding this ministry that makes it so appealing. Puppets combine the white Christian's love of soft/cute things (particularly felt), skits, and doing things for children. Puppets are like live action 3-D
flannelgraphs (and anyone who has been in Sunday School knows how popular these can be).

In addition, the physical representation of Bible stories and characters allows white Christians to white-up or "
cauc-ify" their Biblical heroes. A white Moses? A yard of pink felt and a fluffy cotton beard will make that happen in no time flat.

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