Most seasoned youth workers recognize that our luxurious days of social, developmental and psychological naiveté are long gone. At camp, we want to encourage obedience and passion; kids want to talk about their dads. In small groups, we want to teach the Bible; kids want authentic friendships that are safe. At church, we want kids to show up; in life, kids are simply looking to survive.
Somehow this describes a reality that will be central to my doctor of ministry long-term project. How can we be church together in a way that doesn't reinforce this dichotomy, but rather sets free the freeing voice of the gospel in places people already are?