Planned curriculum is not the only thing that gets conveyed to the young people in our care. If you are planning to teach, mentor, or minister to children, teens, or young adults, I encourage you to begin by checking your assumptions. The words we use are one thing. The ideas—and especially the unspoken ideas—that lie behind these words are another.
With my career in youth ministry for the past six years, one of the major things I’ve come to discover about the faith development of young people is that it has so much less to do with being fed the answers, and so much more to do with things like wonder and curiosity.
In addition to the fact that I apparently have a soft spot for Christmas carols with the symphonic “O” in their title, I love “O Come” because it is achingly beautiful. The minor key quiets my frenzied brain even as it stirs up deeper longings in my soul—a hunger and thirst for righteousness, to see Jesus face-to-face.
This is how it often feels to work for an institution like the church in 2019. Trends so much larger than myself make my prayers and pastoral work feel meaningless. I’ve been feeling this way about my denomination, the RCA, recently. Each week in our church, we say some version of this refrain: When the person of Jesus Christ is at the center of our lives and our worship, there is space for loving one another in disagreement.
What lessons might we, as Christian stewards of the creation, take from this story of the ozone hole?
The first part of this article stated the dangerous (albeit tempting) tennets of Gnosticism and how they lead to the separation of the spiritual and the physical; and in this part of the article, I will continue to discuss how our physical states should demonstrate our inner spirituality.