Are Great Adventure Trips Missional?

Yes they are! There are certain rides like Kingda Ka that are very much a spiritual experience. The speed, the anticipation, the relief that you are still alive – praise Jesus. Ever get to the top of a ride like Nitro (which is a fun stand-up roller coaster) and pray that everyone is doing their job? Similar to praying for the pilot and his family and confessing unconfessed sin upon take off, I am praying for the 17 year old operating the controls, the maintenance guy in charge of seat restraints and praying that the team of engineers are all happily married with well-adjusted children being and being fairly compensated.

In fact, the next time a roller coaster gets retired, I’m going to suggest to our elder board that we consider purchasing it and throwing it in the back of the church. Not so much to thrill teen-agers but to convict those older. Imagine sending up that guy who complains after every worship service or the “just a suggestion” lady (that suggests that you were a different person – LOL). We could strap them in, play sermons of kindness, edification, complaining, giving! And you don’t get off the ride until you repent (Now that’s a suggestion). Truth be told, that’s just where some people are at and I find it fun to joke about (You don’t expect me to take it too seriously do you? And this is a blog not Christianity Today).

But over to my context, I enjoy taking our students to things like G.A. One reason is because I am normal (somewhat) and I like having a good time. Among my concerns and frustrations with some parts of student ministry is this cool, fun Jesus thing. I guess that’s really a different type of post but here’s the issue with Great Adventure. These trips of become so cliché. We ask ourselves, how can a student ministry NOT go to an amusement park? It’s like a church without a cross in the sanctuary. Has anyone heard of such a thing? Yes in fact, we have. And there are many successful student ministries that have given up on trying to entertain their students and have focused more on ministering to them. And many more that are trying to find the balance in between (like ours).

What I like about trips like these is standing in line, talking (except when it’s ridiculously hot, which it wasn’t yesterday), getting to know students and leaders. Truth be told, I do feel closer to our students after these types of trips. Not really sure that counts as being missional though. Perhaps we should pick up the trash, free the dolphins and tigers, and evaluate their energy efficiency. But spending time conversing in the lines is better then turning kids loose in the park and deluding ourselves into thinking that this is youth ministry.

Speak Your Mind