I don’t know whether you remember taking a photocopy of a copy and realising very quickly that the quality was not very good at all. Imagine copying the copy time and time again, I would guess it wouldn’t be long before the original was almost unrecognisable. Here are two pictures of Jesus; one original and one after being copied 10 times from the previous copy…
I have been really challenged this month about ensuring that we listen and hear to our young people as they speak about their journey of faith. At our New Years Houseparty I was utterly blown away by how articulate our young people were when they spoke about their experiences and understanding of Jesus. Not only were their words wise and exciting but they also gave me a whole new understanding of something I have known for years. The eyes that they experienced faith through were not mine and so therefore will see something completely different, something that will enable me to see a whole new view of God and Jesus.
My worry within church is that we simply pass down to our children our own view of Jesus and ask them to just accept and believe what we tell them. What I have found embracing and powerful is hearing young people speak firsthand of their faith in Jesus, untainted by my input and view.
Of course we pass on wisdom, teaching and lessons learnt. But let us also be open to God using the young people we know to ‘sing a new song’, to bring something fresh and powerful to our churches. If we do not I fear the copy will just get more and more feint and then be almost unrecognisable.
My prayer is that God will continue to enable the267project to live out its mission statement of ‘offering inspiring and creative ways for young people to engage with God’, but then also for us to hear the outcomes, respond the them and be encouraged.
The church can only be built up and encouraged by listening to its young people, they will bring a new energy, a new view and we pray, a new song.
1 Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvellous deeds among all peoples