Email from Kandis D
"I am a senior in Dallas Texas in need of some help. My friend and I are working on our senior thesis project which relates to youth and Christianity. There are two products that we hope to produce as a part of our project, a magazine and a weekend club alternative which would also link to a program that would be implemented in churches. The weekend club alternative would give teenagers a weekend outlet that would not only keep them from taking part in worldly activities, but also enrich them while helping them build a closer relationship with God. It would resemble a Christian club but also include forums and discussions.
The magazine would be more of an entertainment magazine with a Christian twist. The only thing is that the cover story would never be on an artist but on controversial issues. Before we can begin working on these projects we have to do some research. We would appreciate any information or help as to what resources or research techniques that we may find helpful for our project. Any ideas as to how we can begin these programs and magazine would also be helpful.
The Seminary you contacted referred this to me for a response.
I am glad you are in Dallas – there are lots of resources for you there in your own city.There are at least 5 Christian clubs in DFW – I know the people behind 3 of them. Out of these 3, Club 412 in Forth Worth would be the best one to contact, since they have told me that they want to help others get similar ministries going. They are Baptist and have a great club with 5 rooms. Talk to Stephanie and she will help. Tell her I sent you. I don’t have their contact info right now but it should be easy to track down.
As for the magazine, I have a friend in Austin who runs HM Magazine, which covers the alternative Christian music scene. They will be able to help – take a look at http://www.hmmag.com
Also look at http://www.lomag.ch for an excellent evangelistic mag in 3 languages. Their philosophy is similar to what you want to do –controversial issues and a Christian response - their latest issue is on sex and love and it includes a critique of Stanley Kubricks “Eyes Wide Shut”.
There are more resource connections on http://www.kingdomspace.com
Let me know if I can help further
Club Scenes and Church.
Churches looking like clubs. Or coffee shops. Why not?
My first attempt was in 1988 in Portland Oregon. I started a worship service for those on the fringe and unbelievers that wanted to come to church felt threatened by the strong and unusual culture of the main service.
The new service had the look and feel of a club, although more like a Comedy Club/Cafe than a music club. I spoke from a stool on the stage. People sat around small tables, getting up at anytime to get coffee and tea, and pastries. Not really radical, but for an Evangelical Free Church, in the 1980’s, it was a ginormous stretch for the elders and the older people. While I was on an extended trip to Australia, they pulled the plug and stopped the service. A decade later, God did the same thing to the church.
During the nineties I actually started a club. Club God Squad happened on San Francisco’s Haight Street every Friday night. We had the use of an old movie theatre that was owned by a Black Pentecostal church. We had Christian hard-core bands start at 9pm and rock the place. At 11pm the DJ’s started. Some of them were Christian and some were not. We enforced a no-profanity rule on the music. Everyone was cool with that. It was a God event and all the musicians supported the cause.. We managed to get on the Rave Hotline in San Francisco – which meant that at 2 or 3 am there would be a tidal wave of people coming out of nowhere to sample our club scene, and then they would be gone. Henna tattoos were given. Some Christian piercing artist set up shop at our events each week. Students from Golden Gate Seminary used to come and help out. The club never became a church. And when the Pentecostal church saw our street graphics on the wall, they refused to let us have the space.
These days I prefer the house party over the club scene. I like living rooms better than dance floors, and many cool clubs are putting couches in their spaces to look and feel more like living rooms anyway.
Houses rock. I think we are going back to houses. I know I am.
The best church experience I ever had was in my youth group days in Orewa, New Zealand. I was 16 and few months away from deciding to follow Jesus. I was one of those people that churches try to attract.
We met on Fridays at the Amos’s house. We lounged around on the carpet, or sat in comfortable chairs. There was hot chocolate, tea, good things to eat. Guitars came out. Bibles came out and we talked about eternal things. People prayed – I was too shy to pray aloud. We sang. We laughed. We laughed a lot. That was church for me.
On Sundays, we went to a cold building and sat on wooden benches. We listened to men give speeches. We sang the same songs that we sang on Fridays but without the joy and smiles and hot chocolate. We were not allowed to talk with each other during this time. I watched the clock.
I was told that what we did on Sunday was church and what we did on Friday was youth group. I believed them. And I spent the next 15 years of my life trying to make the Sunday experience a bit more like Friday. Now that I am older, I am going back to Friday. I think I will stay there.