I recently watched Gever Tulley’s TED talk 5 Dangerous Things. His presentation points to the problem of over protecting children, and makes a case for allowing danger in their lives for the sake of discovery. It’s a short watch if you want to see it for yourself.
This video got me thinking about youth ministry. Do we protect teenagers too much? Her e are my five dangerous things:
1. Ask questions – Do we let them ask questions? Is it wrapped in the context of us always knowing the answers? It is hugely beneficial to let questions linger. The time spent finding answers almost always has more benefit than the answers themselves. Additionally, this prepares students for life when they have moved on from youth ministry.
2. Ask questions – Do we ask them hard questions? I’m not talking about hard questions like Do you believe in God? I’m talking about really hard questions like What is it about you that you love?
3. Live with tension – Inevitably, if we let questions linger, we have to acknowledge that mystery exists in our faith. There are just too many things we can’t understand about life, and especially God.
4. Work out their faith – So often in youth ministry we feel like we should fix students. This really is a lack of faith. We can’t even fix ourselves. Why would we think we could fix anyone else. It’s the Spirit’s work to bring people to repentance and sanctification.
5. Live with radical grace – If youth ministries aren’t willing to practice radical grace, going beyond forgiveness and into blessing those who hurt us, we really aren’t fully practicing our faith.