Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It has begun...

A billion things to write about today. The Spirit is moving in and through our denomination, and something really humbling is happening...we're being involved. Heard a few great speakers too.

Brian McLaren spoke on his new book "Everything Must Change". In perspective of youth ministry, what is it that we're "recruiting" young people for? To be a light through issues of the church (doctrine, politics, drama, etc.), or to struggle through issues of the world (poverty, war, selfish-ness)? He reduced several lists made by world organizations on the major crisis' of the world today down into 4 main categories: 1. Prosperity (at the cost of our environment) 2. Poverty (gap between rich and poor, the rich rule) 3. Peace (security, crime, terrorism, etc.) and 4. Purpose (religion failing to provide a frame for healing society).

These sound very similar to the 4 horsemen of the "apocalypse" who we see evidence of riding even today in our world. 1.Conquest 2. War 3. Famine and 4. Death Wonder if he borrowed from Revelation 6?

Also confirmed what we've talked about recently, about God's Kingdom being set up in a completely "otherly" way. Exciting that we can be used towards that goal...which leads to the other speaker I wanted to highlight, Mark favorite of the day.

So many things I could write at length about, that I will just put a few memorable spots.

1. The Closer Jesus gets to his goal (in the gospel story), the less it LOOKS like a success. We can't be measuring our effectiveness by the same standards as the world. And what if, in ministry, our gift IS IN our weakness? Peter was perfect for his calling, because he knew he wasn't able on his own. This goes against the world that tells me to look/act/speak like I know what's going that teens will "dig" me. Do I risk telling my teenagers I have no clue how to command respect, or discipline them if they don't? :)

2. The "good baby" is the one that doesn't cry, that doesn't need me. How often do we have that mindset beyond actual baby years? Why don't we allow more time/energy/room for grieving, because it will definitely be needed, if we yearn to have the broken heart of God as our own. (Holiness) The world (and youth) NEED to see someone who can stay ALIVE in this world that deadens/hardens emotions and passions.

3. He spoke of Youth Ministry AS a spiritual discipline. I'd never thought of it this way before. In Youth Ministry, I'm challenged to grow in depth. Challenged to be real with my faith. To live it out genuinely in front of teenagers who may poke and prod spiritually to check it out. I like this.

Finally, we heard Shane Claiborne speak on the scandal of grace. He told quite a few stories of instances where something crazy (illogical) was done in the name of God's love and grace. Really inspiring stories, very Jesus-ish. Quoted "It doesn't matter how much we do, but how much LOVE we do it with." I like that. Confirmed my desire to get our teens involved in the church food pantry this summer.

Then...a few hours of raw lifting each other up, and our denomination in general...praying that God would do a new thing (not to be confused with "nu thang"), and it might start with us. Intense focus on the Holy Spirit.....I dug it.

Oh yeah....then we went to Medieval Times for dinner. Our Knight (blue) totally got killed.


Chris S. said...

Hey man! I am still depressed that our knight was such a poor example of bravery and skill in fighting the red knight!

JennT said...

My friend Amber has been talking about McLaren this week too, she is running the World Vision booth and says you should stop by and say hi to her before 2:00 today...

Bethany said...

You youth pastors are sooo crazy! lol : )
Sounds good! I would be interested to hear more sometime! I'm glad it's going well!!!
See you for Living Sacrifice!