i read jeremy iversen’s brutal and insightful book high school confidential last week. posted about it here. one of the primary characters is a christian, and not a bad guy, really. but the thinly veiled references to either young life (probably) or campus life were tough to read, because it was an unfiltered description of so much of what we do in youth ministry. the author didn’t seem to have an axe to grind about christians or christian clubs (he attended every week, he wrote at one point). but the whole thing comes off sounding so much like the pep-rally in the movie saved. here’s one of the sections that made me wince:
that evening after dinner, she received special permission from her father to go to spiriteen and come straight back. parents like the idea of christian youth group; brian’s party the next night would need a much harder sell.
seventy mirador people talked on the couches, chairs, and floor of a living room every similar to alexis’s. she perched on a sofa armrest with her can of cranberry juice.
“you came,” said derrick.
she smiled. the room contained a virtual ‘who’s who of asb leadership and nervous underclass girls who wanted to hook up, but no black people and just one asian guy. she smelled weed and alcohol on a lot of people’s breath.
each spiriteen program consisted of three main segments: a madcap activity, a lesson, and hanging out at a strip mall. the activities owed much more to mtv spring break than to the path of christ as understood by, say, saint maximus the confessor.
“whooooo!” screamed one of teh group leaders, a burly college senior in a biola university sweatshirt. “we’ve got a hypnotist tonight!”
music thumped as the hypnotist jogged out, a slick-looking guy in his late thirties. he clapped to the music and everyone clapped along with him.
“mirador high school spiriteen,” he yelled. “they tell me you’re the party school, let me hear you scream!”
“yeahyahhh!” screamed alexis along with everyone.