Monday, October 12, 2009

Are Youth the Canary in the Coal Mine?

I'm preparing for the TWIST Conference in 2 weeks. Enjoying the prep. So I asked of of my early mentors, David Miles (he was actually my MTS Trainer), for some sermons he has done.

In one of them called 'The Call to Passion', he reflects on many passages of Scripture, not least of which is Philippians 3:10-11. David reflects on suffering, passion, and young peeps:
Young people are theological canaries [in a coal mine]. If they’re keeling over and dropping out. That’s an early warning signal that poison is in the air. The poison of passionless/sold out faith. It means we adults have lost our first love – and so we’ve stopped suffering…
I forget how important David has been in my life.

Pic by Flickr on Floridapfd.


dave miers said...

that's a great quote!!

gbroughto said...

An aging Great One once quipped that aging youth ministers make the best theologians... something you undoubtedly agree with.
Maybe there is more than a coincidental connection between Dav Miles observation and this??

annie said...

That's an interesting idea - that youth dropping out is an early indication of problems in the church!

I would be wary of carrying the argument to the conclusion that we therefore need to target our churches toward youth!

Can we keep the vigor, passion, and edgy-challenge-to-extreme-living that mark youth ministry, while at the same time holding on to mature, deep-thoughtful Christianity not easily swayed by trends?

BTW- I'm really looking forward to the TWIST conference!! I'm eager to get some deeper insights into the Sydney philosophy of, and approach to, worship.

Justin said...

@Annie -- David's point, if I understand him correctly, is precisely that we 'we adults'find 'our first love'. Its not about reaching the youth at all.

We carry the poison in our own hearts, is his point. The canary is the indicator that this is the case.

Can we on to mature, deep-thoughtful Christianity not easily swayed by trends?

Indeed we must.