‘Conquer and keep’ or ‘nurture and release’?

A friend on Twitter asked:

Dear Church, what is the vision you have for nurturing and releasing rather than conquering and keeping young people?

blowing-bubbles-1351843It’s a conversation that needs to happen. Too often children and young people are seen as the ‘salvation’ of the church, those who will ensure its future. ‘If we have a thriving Sunday school and youth group, we’ll be ok’ seems to be the underlying concern. Churches look back to ‘the good old days’ when memory tells them leaders were numerous, group sizes flourishing and all was well with the world. But that seems to make numbers the driving factor.

At the first Faith Forward conference in Washington, Brian McLaren asked, ‘Why do we keep passing on a form of Christianity to our children that no longer works for us?’

Learning Bible stories isn’t discipleship. Being able to recite the Ten Commandments won’t nurture faith.

So how do we change the narrative to one where each child and young person is valued for who they are – not what they might offer to the church? How can we help those who have assumed status and power because of age to see the gifts, contribution and prophetic voice of a younger generation as of equal worth? Where is the space for this conversation?

Well – we can start the conversation at The Conversation. Join us and have your voice heard. Join us and challenge prevailing views. Join us – and together we can begin to envision new and change-bringing ways which nurture and release rather than continue to conquer and keep…

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