You may not have had time to read Kenda Creasey Dean’s excellent book “Almost Christian.” The video below gives a fantastic insight into her thinking. Now that we live in a world where there are once again a myriad of competing narratives – we need to find a way to do youth ministry in a way that doesn’t assume our young people will be enculturated into the kingdom. In what some would call a “PostChristendom” context – where the Christian faith may be the foundation of our culture but it is no longer the predominant worldview of our culture how do we equip young people to work out and live out their faith?
Creasey Dean highlights the significance of the family as a place where young people either see the Christian faith lived out or not. The benchmark she sets is not that high – if adults simply talk meaningfully about their faith at home and stay connected with the life of the church this will have a significant impact on young people. Now of course Creasey Dean is speaking from a US context, for me this means we have an even more urgent task in the UK where there is so much less church attendance and we are still borrowing a lot of our models of church life and discipleship from the US.
1. We need to find ways to empower, encourage and work alongside parents to help them take up their role as those with primary spiritual responsibility for their children.
2. We need to help young people understand what it means to live as “aliens and strangers” recognising that they will feel like an isolated minority – it means the relationships we develop as churches is even more crucial.
3. we need to help young people have sufficient apologetic understanding of what and why they believe and how to develop the practices and community that will sustain them in their faith into adulthood.
What did you make of the video?
PS Russell Shaw originally created this for the GO! Conference. It is taken from a phone conversation between Brad Montague and author Kenda Creasy Dean. The audio was difficult to hear so we recorded a new voice over the top, but the words belong to Kenda. You can view the original video here: