Tuesday, July 26, 2005


There's an inspirational title, formulated with every ounce of creative impulse within me...

So part II of our Simple Life series went off OK on Sunday. Got to speak on the Parable of the Rich Fool. Seemed to go OK. It is a personal topic for people hitting the whole attitude to stuff. It certainly seemed to be appreciated by some. Ryan Gerten led worship for the first time since he joined us and did a great job. Now that Ryan and Angele have actually settled properly in Auckland they are getting the chance to contribute more fully. Its going well.

This week is one of those weeks that I dread just a bit - I get squeezed in between 2 meetings that are infrequent but time consuming - and they both fall this week. In both cases I feel like the meetings are going to be time wasters as well - one because the group that has been formed (Willow Creek Global Summit) really doesn't have a job to do on an ongoing basis; the other because try as I might I can't get people to focus clearly on what is really important going forward other than on the day of the meeting. That of course leaves no time to do the really important stuff that requires preparation. It is improving, but too slowly for my taste.

Finally, a recent post on Frank's Blog asks the question of whether we need to be focusing more closely on equipping our teens with life skills that allow them to live Jesus with their non Christian friends rather than simply live life in a Christian ghetto. It strikes me that the question may be more fundamental even than that! How do we help adults do the same thing?! One thought I've been pondering relates to how we raise our kids to know God. I've been challenged by conversations with a new person in our cell group who has a distant background as a Missionary kid. She talks about how she was raised to pray to this God who would protect her, bless her and make everything turn out OK. And yet. For her it didn't. Now I know the theology of all that, but my question is this: how do we raise our kids in an environment that will prepare them for the realities of life. Sometimes when I pray for Rhys I catch myself praying for "the good life". Well that might not be his lot. What if his father dies at age 50? What if his first wife divorces him? What if his second wife dies of cancer? How will he make sense of that if his knowledge of a loving and providing God doesn't also extend to an understanding of the brutality of life? And how do you tell a kid that s*** happens without creating a cynical adult?

In Christian education, we tell kids stories from the Bible that are profoundly disturbing but we take those bits out. So Noah and the Ark becomes a story about cute animals rather than the death of pretty much the entire human race. What does a teenager do with that story when challenged to speak their faith? All they have is this slightly embarassing memory of a "fairy story" about animals that turned out to be so much more difficult to engage as an adult. Do they hide the story away from their non Christian friends and force their faith into the background at the same time?

I actually asked this question once of kids workers at ECW. I didn't get an answer. Food for thought.


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