There are some days when there are a million messages bouncing around my head that I’d like to share with those that I serve. There are so many thoughts and they’re not necessarily bad ones or unimportant ones but the more time I spend working in ministry (with my epic three years or so experience…) the more I realise that there can often only be one message. There can be one clear message that you get across in any given talk or meeting together. And I wonder, what is the message that I’d like to send?
What is it that is most important to say to these kids and teenagers?
I’ve spent a bit of time studying sociology this year and ended up reading Kenda Creasy Dean’s book “Almost Christian” that examined further the idea of Moral Therapeutic Deism, or for the sake of the rest of this post, MTD. MTD is the ‘religion’ that a lot of teenagers unwittingly asribe to. They live out a moral code because it makes them feel good, and they attribute this to some sort of god. Different teenagers will label that god differently. Point is, I don’t want those that I serve to walk away with that in their minds. MTD is not what we’re after.
That brings me to think that the central message must be about Jesus. That’s what I want to say. That’s what is most important to articulate. Now, there’s a teenager I’ve encountered who is a Jehovah’s Witness and she’s told me about Jesus a little bit. She’s told me that he’s a good role model – in fact, the book she asked me to read will tell you that he’s the greatest man that ever lived. But not the son of God. Not divine. Just a man. A very brilliant, good man. That’s an easy message to give them. To tell the kids that Jesus encourages us to live a good life like he did – to serve the poor, to love our neighbor…
Here’s what has been bouncing around my head the last few days. I’ve been thinking about John the Baptist. John the Baptist’s life was dedicated to proclaiming that someone would arrive who is greater than he, someone who he isn’t worthy to even untie the sandals of… and yet, he baptised that very man.
And that might be what I would say. I would say that our lives are not about us. I would say that if they were about us, then the picture is much to small and will fade out so fast… But. We’ve been invited into another story. We’ve been invited to proclaim the news about someone greater than us, who we are completely unworthy to serve. But he makes us worthy with His blood.
And because of that, we are free to serve him. It is not about us. It is about Jesus.
That’s what I think I’d say.
What would you say, if you could just say one thing?