I love her thoughts in todays post. Enjoy!
By: Kelsey Morgan
I cannot believe how easy it is to access information any more. I was there when AOL first came available to the general public. After waiting fifteen minutes to look something up, I thought, “I could go to the library and look this up! What a joke.” How wrong I was.
But with the advent of the personal computer the ability to “know” has increased. Technology and discovery have acted in tandem to offer up all this information, in all it’s levels of accuracy and truthfulness. As much as I appreciate this, I am not sure that we, as a culture, were ready to handle it all. How do you process that? How do you discern what is true and do we even understand that not all things are equal?
I look at the political scene and see rhetoric flying out of the mouths of politicians and the news media, neither of which is interested in truth, just interested in garnering votes through manipulation. It puts chills down my spine thinking about how we take so much at face value and act as though Facebook postings are based on fact. There is always more to the story.
Which brings me to the Church…and of course brings me to the youth of the Church. This is a questioning bunch of people, so maybe that’s a good thing in this landscape. They make us nervous and when we look at the shifting culture, we get even more nervous. Our pits sweat as we attempt to address their sexuality issues, their struggle with violent evil in the world, and, of course, the inevitable dinosaur question. If you don’t get that last one, you might not have been in this game very long. Trust me, it will come.
We struggle to answer their questions, but what is dawning on me is that they need new lenses to look through. Not rose colored ones, and we cannot just say “the Bible”- that’s very broad and not many of us would deign to address the entirety of the Bible when we only have an hour and fifteen minutes a week with them. I think a better answer is the Gospel of Christ. And it has to be attainable for a 14 year old.
As much as I am tempted I cannot give a seminary answer to what the gospel really is, they have the rest of their lives to study the mystery of the scriptures. Instead, I am relearning, rephrasing, reacquainting myself with the simplicity and goodness that the gospel really is. I am returning to the gospel of Christ in me, because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20). It is exciting to introduce students, maybe for the first time, to the good news of Christ.
So what about those pesky questions?
We embrace them, full frontal, but not without giving our students a new lens through which to address them. We can now point out the thread of the gospel that runs through everything and everyone they encounter, even while facing the abstract realities of this world. And here’s a thought…We trust the work of the Holy Spirit as they land on some answers (gulp.).
How about we start teaching students how to ask better questions and to listen. This is a skill that has been lost. We can blame the modern educational system and culture, but let’s face it- the Church has lost her edge in this as well. People are not secluded from answers anymore and our students are not medieval uneducated peasants unable to grapple with “higher thinking”. It’s in their face, daily. They must be equipped to ask thoughtful questions, without motives to persuade, but with grace and humility. The best learning strategies are those that lead the learner to deeper understanding via their own elaboration through questions. And then they listen without fear of the answers. Because we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of Love, Power, and a Sound Mind.
This is what Generation514 is all about, empowering youth workers and their students to engage with the culture while looking through the lens of good news of Christ.
If you'd like to know more about Generation514, check it out here.