Can we Imagine or are we frozen in time?
Tom and Christine Sine – Following Jesus in the Shadow of the Empire
What are ways we can help young people prepare for the future – life in the Church and lives of mission
A. Take the future seriously! Don’t be Christians frozen in time . . . in other words stop imagining more of what already is.
B. We need to help kids think creatively to cope with the future/changing times:
Students today are the first generation in America who will not surpass their parents economically.
· Communal living – future increase of mortgages means young people will not be able to own their own homes – need to learn to live together/share resources – creative thinking
· Craig’s list – what resources do we have to share?
· Petrol prices will continue to hike . . . making petro-based fertilizers unaffordable to poor farmers àcreate a food shortage à teach kids to raise vegetables and participate in coops
· Explore new models of communities of simplicity, celebration, sustainability and service.
Students of today and future are technologically addicted/emersed.
· Technology addiction has created a 24/7 connection to workplace – need to teach kids to set limits so they can remain faithful to Scripture, prayer and family
· Media consumption has become media emersion . . . we need to teach the need for and skill at finding sacred places and spaces that are media-free
· Look at the numbers of social networking media that has developed just in the last 6 years – imagine how many more will come about in the next 10 years – how can we use them?
Students are growing-up in a growing multicultural society:
· By 2040 the US will be the first Western nation that is not predominately European
· We need to teach kids how to live in multicultural settings – will raising kids in homogeneous suburbs preparing them for their future?
· We need to help youth see the power of our culture and the message of “cool” that has changed the traditional cultures in other countries – changing the views that youth in those other countries have toward their own traditions and cultures and changing how they live within their cultures
· Can we have American youth help change the standard of “cool” among youth of other cultures? (social networking can be a key tool) – dispelling the power of the message of cool flowing from our culture
· Look at the coming of the “new majority” Church – growing Church in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia – help youth connect
Students are revealing our nation’s post-Christendom mentality.
· Barna likes to say that US has about 40-50% church attendance vs. 6% in UK and 9% in Australia
· Another study of actual attendance numbers shows that really only about 17.5% of Americans regularly attend church. Some only attend once a month . . . how do we build community in that kind of a context?
· Youth are less and less drawn to the church and remaining in the church after leaving home
· Can we imagine new ways of doing church? Does our Christian education/formation really doing the same job it has for the last century?
· Are our church buildings and traditional activities which have served our previous generations going to be the form of church our youth will connect to?
· Allow youth to imagine and experiment with new expressions of church
Imagining new ways to include young people – Advancing God’s purposes in changing times
· Learning how to raise food/participate in coops
· Teaching how to lead worship at a young age
· Create forums for young people who have new ideas about how to connect the Church globally
· Help youth discover their calling
· Christian education can be preparatory to these ends.