Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sharing the Gospel is Dangerous

"If we say we want to translate the gospel with young people, this is what we are saying: we are willing to put the very power of the gospel itself -- the very power of the Word of God -- into the hands of teenagers, people who do not view culture the way we view culture, who do not hear God the way we hear God, who will not worship the way we worship, who will not 'do church' the way we want them to simply because they will be listening to Jesus and not to us.  Catechesis behind the wall is a mixed bag.  Yes, young people fortified by these conversations quickly puncture the flimsy spiritualities of Therapeutic Moralistic Deism as the on-the-wall conversation with culture begins to include them.  But what if they trust us?  What if they love the God we say we love?  What if they imitate Christ, share his wasteful grace, and embody his self-giving love in the world?  In short, what if they get their hands on the gospel?  Then where will we be?" - Kenda Creasy Dean, Almost Christian

This kind of thing I love.  But it also scares me.  Dean is writing about youth ministry, but I read it as I am twenty-four and preparing for ordination...and I read it as just a young adult.  She's targeting youth ministers I'm thinking that a lot of what she is saying is applicable to me and people my age.  I don't want to say that I'll be listening to Jesus and not "adults" but I do get nervous sometimes about an Establishment shutting down ideas from me or my peers because its different.  Maybe they'll have other reasons, and maybe some of them will be valid.

But I've already encountered (not about me) push back from higher ups when people want to do something different.  And it's just that it's different.  They may've tried to say something else, but it was just words and they were scared of something different.  I hope that system doesn't chew me up and spit me out.

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