More Cowbell

Watch this (click here). It’s probably not new to you but, seriously, you need a laugh. So watch…

I had no idea what to write about today until a moment ago when I felt the need for a laugh. I went to good ‘ol YouTube and watched this classic moment in musical comedy. When this stupendously hilarious video was over, I asked myself, “Self! How does this apply to youth ministry?”

“Self,” I answered, “One loud annoying guy in the middle of a magical moment? We got that.”

And it’s true. We all have that kid, don’t we? I have like… 5! From here on out we will refer to him/her as “Cowbell” and the situations might play out something like this…

You’re in the middle of wrapping up the Wednesday night message and the mood is serious. Up to this point, you have been weaving a powerful message about how having a personal relationship with Jesus is the most important thing a person can do. Really serious stuff, right? Cowbell raises his hand. You cringe on the inside because you know this isn’t going to be helpful. You ignore Cowbell at first, but the longer you ignore him the more boisterous and even dangerous his hand raising becomes as he begins to flail about. Being faithful to your duty — and because you are afraid for the safety of the students in Cowbell’s immediate vicinity — you say, “Cowbell, is this short and on-topic?” Cowbell replies in the affirmative and then begins to share about how he learned today in school that the relationship between chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers is over 100 years old.

“Great. Thanks Cowbell! You just ruined what could have been a life changing moment for the students who are here to actually LEARN about God! These other kids could have a real life-changing time here but it was ruined thanks to your rabbit-trail about campfire snackery! GET OUT OF HERE!!!”

But that’s not how you respond is it? Nope, we respond in love. We encourage Cowbell to keep things more on topic next time. We try to bring the group back to point and finish the service.

Later, on the drive home we remember that we really do love Cowbell. He adds color to our life. He is frustrating and he is challenging, but he is God’s child. Remember, Jesus didn’t come for the totally awesome and appropriate players in Blue Oyster Cult. He came to save the Cowbells. He came to free them, to teach them, to heal them — and you get to be a part of that. Besides…

“I got a fever! And the only prescription is more cowbell!”