on a retreat some time ago, our exec was asked to create a utopian vision of the future of our organization. no limits. no “boundaries of reality” — just dream as big as possible (or, as big as impossible), and state a new reality.
here’s what i wrote…
Because of YS, and through the avenue of youth ministry, the church has less divisions
Because of YS, and through the avenue of youth ministry, youth workers of all kinds, and in all corners of the world, are empowered, equipped, resourced and visioned to reinvent the church, and therefore the world, through an attritional approach to the kingdom of God – teenagers become a new breed of Christians, grow up, and lead us to a new day, a new church, a new approach to justice, a new approach to doubt and questions and dialogue and theology and contemplation and the point of being a Christ-follower.
Because of YS, and through the avenue of youth ministry, youth workers, and those they influence, develop meaningful dialogue with others who are different, resulting in:
· New kinds of churches
· New ways of doing youth ministry
· A new era in the kingdom of god
· A marked increase in Christians who prioritize being over doing
· A marked increase in justice and social action, carried out by the church, as teenagers who’ve experienced this impact and calling while in youth groups influenced by YS-influenced youth workers grow into adulthood and have the commitment and confidence to be the church by changing the world
· Teenagers have a leading role in setting the direction for the future of the church, and the church truly listens to their voices.
· The church is once again known as the societal agent for meeting needs and setting right the cultural constructs that have been wrong.
· The church apologizes for 100 years of arrogance and manipulation and selfishness
And… through all of this, YS continues to encourage, train, resource and challenge another generation of youth workers to bring about the next cycle of change or usher in the kingdom of God, the new heaven and the new earth!
whew. i warned you that it was utopian!
9 thoughts on “utopian view of the future of YS”
wow – this is just so filled with hope.
a few questions:
can you define – attritional approach
the word NEW shows up 9 times in this vision – how does this track with institutions that house YM that are so often focussed on OLD
where do you see this ( The church is once again known as the societal agent for meeting needs and setting right the cultural constructs that have been wrong.) happening right now ?
wow, those are great questions, bob!
1. by “attritional approach”, i mean that it won’t happen overnight. we’ll see students change, as as they grow into places of leadership in the church, things will change. i suppose i made up a word, or a phrase!
2. i don’t mean to imply, by the massive use of the word “new”, that old is always done away with. i think new things often come alongside and inform old things — for instance: i think one of the great benefits of what’s happening in the emerging church is the more subtle changes that are occuring in “old” churches and institutions, due to the wonderful and wild experimentation of more cutting-edge expressions of church.
3. i think this questions requires more thinking (on my part), and a longer answer. i’ll try to post something this week.
Not to split hairs over words a practice that usually tries my patience. But perhaps the word “fresh” is a better in 2 than the word “new”. Apple pie is an old recipe but it is always wonderful when it is fresh.
good stuff .. Utopian? we can give ourselves to think “hopefully” right? :-)
beautiful, sivin — yes!
I like how directional your dreams are.. they are fluid and creative, but they are moving.. each fresh thing takes flight through the work and purposes of YS.. it’s a wonderful picture. I like it. I like the hopefulness of it.
…so the penemulte question becomes: how to supplant the leaders of the established church, such as it were. As attrition occurs, won’t (don’t?) those in control recruit their own successors? It also is a challenge when youth see this as well… do they stay and participate, patiently taking control… or do they bail on established churches?
How do we pull this off? That’s the challenge we all face… emerge? Evolve? Revolt?
The church apologizes for 100 years of arrogance and manipulation and selfishness?…
i love you marko, but that sounds pretty arrogant to me. the church (and you and I) still dont have everything figured out, so who are we now to sit and point our fingers, demanding apologies from those who have gone before us?
j.j. — i’m including MYSELF in that need to have a humble, apologetic position — not looking for an apology for anyone else.