It's a trend that doesn't please Karen McKinney, director of the youth ministry program and an associate professor of Biblical and theological studies at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn. McKinney finds programs copying "Fear Factor" and other puke-inducing events to be a contradiction to the church's message of stewardship.
"What did we just teach?
wonders rhetorically when told about the youth program.
"What value is it when we know there are kids starving?… There are ways to teaching young people to be bold without wasting food."
As an example, McKinney
remembers how she
was invited to speak about sexual boundaries to a teen group at a church in downtown St. Paul.
After brief introductions, she
broke the 12 students into two groups and told them they were going to play strip Pictionary.
For every round lost, the losing group would have to take off an item of clothing.
Before they even started, she
could hear a 13- year-old girl say under her
breath, "This is wrong.
said the group went through three rounds before the 13-year-old stood up and said, "I thought the topic was boundaries.
We should not be playing this game.
then asked the other students if they also thought the game was wrong and why they didn't voice those concerns.
"They got the message loud and clear what it means to stand up when it comes to crossing these kinds of boundaries," she
Licking peanut butter off somebody's armpit, she
observes, crosses those boundaries without drawing valuable lessons for the Celebration students.
"It's just totally inappropriate," she