A couple months ago I was going down the rabbit hole of watching every Mr. Rogers video Youtube had to offer. After a while I got curious about what the comments on these videos would be like. Youtube comments are notoriously nasty and argumentative. What kind of junk would people say about Mr. Rogers.
In the comments section of one of the videos I found this story:
“When I was in the fifth grade, Mr. Rogers was announced as a guest speaker on the topic of helping. Fifth grade was a little past the age that most kids watched the show, and it was cool to make fun of Mr. Rogers. I remember a bunch of kids saying that they were going to ask him several inappropriate questions or otherwise try to cause a disturbance during his presentation. But when he took the stage, all those kids fell dead silent and listened in awe to the ‘square’ they were going to mock in front of the assembly. I got to shake Fred Rogers’ hand and talk to him for a few moments, and I thank him for the memories.”
The sincerity and love of Mr. Rogers can break through anyone’s defenses.
I’ve done school assemblies where you can just feel that every students has a wall up. It’s cool to not care and they use that as a defense against any message you try to bring them. I have my own little ritual to get myself ready for assemblies like that. But it can be so discouraging.
It’s nice to hear stories like this.
I hear guys talk about how they can’t be effective in youth ministry because they’re too old and out of the loop. But Mr. Rogers is a reminder that your greatest tool in ministry is love. How cheesy is that? Whatever. I’m leaving it.