Being a beautiful sunny, summer day and having a couple of hours to myself, I was motivated to scour the bookshelf and loose myself in an afternoon read. To my unlikely surprise I pulled from the shelves a book I’ve had for a few years now, but just never found the right moment to begin reading. Practicing Passion Youth and The Quest For A Passionate Church by Kenda Creasy Dean. While not what I had in mind, it seemed appropriate given the week of youth convention I’d just come off of.
Likely one of the most meaty introductions I’ve read in a while, KCD jumps right to the issue of youth and their passion for something to be passionate about. This past week at youth convention, I witnessed what I always witness–youth discovering passion. While for most it’s a new or deeper passion for God, for others it’s for time away from home or for that new boyfriend or girlfriend. Yet, this year’s convention was different, regarding the level and depth of passion expressed and hungered for by many of the youth in attendance; specifically those from my group. I’ll admit it’s exciting when a Freshman guy comes up to you and says, “Ryan we have to make sure to do something to keep this thing going when we get home!” What’s scary is the pressure to find or create that “something.”
Adding to the degree of fear I’m now sensing is what KCD mentions in the book; “The predicament of adolescents is intimately linked to the predicament of the church, and the transformation of one implies the transformation of both.”
Therefore this “something” is bigger than me and bigger than the youth ministry. It’s all encompassing. It’s “something” for the whole church. I wished I knew the answer to interject at this point, but I don’t. I don’t know whether or not I’ll find answers within the pages of the book. I do know however, that my astute youth is right; something needs to be done in order to fan into flame the spark that was lit at convention. I also know that the same old fanning no longer works. This level of passion requires something more and possibly something new. And that I believe is the rub that will either kill the whole thing or set it ablaze is such a way that none of us can contain it or control it.
God I pray for the latter.