When I was a child my mother sometimes made brussels sprouts for supper. I thought brussels sprouts were perhaps the most disgusting thing ever eaten by man. There is no redeeming value there. None. At all. Gross.
While dreading my plate of brussels sprouts, my father would say to me, “Just eat them, they taste like candy.”
“Seriously? Candy, dad? Have you ever tasted candy? I know candy dad, and these are no candy.” Of course, I never said this, that would be dumb, but I did think it.
I love my father and he was a great man, but this was perhaps one of the dumbest lines of reasoning I’ve ever heard in my life.
It reminds me of the modern approach churches take to convince people to come to them. “Learning about Jesus is fun! It’s just like going to an amusement park, only more Bible-y.”
Now churches certainly have added more amusements, but the degree of amusement is proportional to the degree to which they are not teaching. If you try to convince me otherwise on this statement, I will merely remind you that brussels sprouts do not taste like candy.
Learning, by its inherent nature–we learn by making mistakes, by studying, by practicing, by discipline–is not fun. It can be fun at times and it can have fun results, but the process is akin to torture at times.
When we convince people that “learning about Jesus is fun!” We are setting them up for failure. Anytime it isn’t fun, well, there goes the desire to learn more.
So, allow me to be the first to have told you in a long time: “Learning about Jesus is not fun.” Quite frankly, it will ruin your life. Ah, but then the fun comes!