As I've been hanging out here at the New Wilmington Mission Conference this week, I've struck up a few conversations with teenagers along the way. Last night I referenced the Apostle's Creed with a young man, and he looked at me like I had just tried to explain that I was an alien. This is in no way to throw that young man under the bus. As a matter of fact, this morning in worship the band asked a similar question, and got the exact same response from 200 (admittedly sleep deprived) teenagers. I've had the same response from our youth group kids. This may come off as old-man-rant-y, but I feel like we in the church are in danger of losing one of the very few things that unites us.
This statement of faith has been, for centuries, the truest test of what makes a Christian. While we try to boil it down these days to where you stand on gay marriage or how you interpret particular biblical texts, the truth of the matter is if you can say this creed unflinchingly, you are an orthodox Christian. It has stood the test of time, has hung in there with the church through thick and thin. If we forget this, at the risk of sounding the alarm, I think the church would be in seriously deep trouble.
Youth pastors, I know we are the rebels. I know we are the ones who buck tradition at every possible turn. I know we're the ones who wear ripped jeans in the sanctuary and if we're going to sing a hymn we're going to make absolutely sure there are at least 5 electric guitars involved. But can we please hang on to this? Can we find space in our youth group meetings every now and again to recite this classic statement of Christian faith? Can we teach our students what the church has for countless generations lifted up as the true beliefs of the Church? The future of our faith depends on it.