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Do you want a revolution?

Yeah, it's a Beatles title.

From YSMarko, 06.01.10:
What I mean by that is this: youth ministry needs some re-thinking. There’s much we all know about what makes up good youth ministry and what makes up, well, less-than-good youth ministry. But we believe our changing culture (and our deepening understanding of the Kingdom of God) calls us to constant change and evaluation, growth and revolution. And we feel called, as an organization, to be a part of that process.
After all: the gospel of Jesus Christ is (not just was) revolutionary. And our youth ministries must reflect this!
(Emphasis mine.)

This is a bit of a back-logged quote from Marko, but something I had held onto that caught my attention and got my wheels cranking.

Our culture is obviously constantly changing. Given the media-driven consumer culture of the US (from radio, to movies, to television, to magazines, on and on…) and the around-the-world influence of the instant information flow available online, coupled with the speed of innovation in technologies, it almost seems the world can’t help but change. There’s always a new headline, a fresh hit single, the next blockbuster…

I guess when you boil it down into ‘duh’-level simplicity, culture is defined by the lives of those individuals within a given community. (I’m speaking of a community in a broad, general sense.) The decisions and choices of people dictate the qualities of a given culture that we can identify and then talk about; what they value, what they consume, what activities they take part in. Our culture is now, and I would argue always has been, changing.

Perhaps those changes are simply perceived to be more rapid (and may in fact be more rapid) than in the past because of the increased access to information and shared ideas. Obviously printed materials moved this along, was nudged further through radio, nudged yet further via television, and then given another swift kick in the rear by the internet. With every new technology that makes communication easier, multiple communities are brought together, and thus the individual cultures are brought together, each adapting to the other.

I think that these modes of communication have aided the deepening of our understanding of the Kingdom of God, too. Conversations have been sparked not just more often, but people from tremendously different backgrounds and perspectives are engaging one another, and that moves forward our understandings of what Jesus was teaching.

One other thought, and I’ll close.

Marko said, “the gospel of Jesus Christ is (not just was) revolutionary.” His message was revolutionary because he called people to a reality different from what they were currently experiencing. He called people to experience the kingdom of God, to live in tune with what God intended for Creation. And his message was revolutionary precisely because it called people to something different than their current state.

Communicating the message of Jesus today requires that we share the same message he shared, that we invite people to that same harmony with God that Jesus talked about. And as long as the people around us live apart from that ultimate reality, that message will continue to be counter cultural. Perhaps as this message is effectively shared, it will seem less revolutionary as the worldwide culture shifts to more closely align with God’s dream and hope for Creation.

For now, our teenagers, who grow up in that media-driven, consumer culture I was talking about, must hear that counter cultural invitation to living life in step with God.

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