I’ve been wondering over the summer what I should be aiming at, though. I’ve read Bob Dylan’s incredible autobiography Chronicles, as well as Shane Claiborne’s book The Irresistible Revolution, over the past couple of months. Dylan’s book in particular is one that really challenged me – when he looks at people it’s like he looks into their souls, sees what they are truly about, and it got me wondering what it is that I am about.
People like Donald Miller and Shane Claiborne don’t just sit down and choose to write books like Blue Like Jazz or The Irresistible Revolution, they’re the products of the life that they live. An expression of who they truly are. And they are men who I respect and who I’m deeply challenged by.
The temptation in planning for the new term has been to try and come up with ways to teach my young people how to be relevant to culture, to come up with a programme that is accessible to their friends. The truth is, though, that unless they get their head around faith, it doesn’t matter how “relevant” the programme is, because their evangelism won’t be an expression of who they truly are or what they truly believe.
On some level, it will just be selling cool, which I’m not sure really helps anyone.
So here’s my question for today – does a youth group have to be cool to be relevant, or is the heart of the Christian faith so opposed to the idea of “cool” that trying to create a cool youth group is always going to be a kind of uneasy balance?
What do you think?