thom olson, long time friend who played an instruemental role on the emergent convention planning team for three years, posted this very interesting comment on one of my posts about the junior high pastors summit notes (particularly addressing the ‘jesus creed’ of ‘love god, love others’, and the gospel as restoration of our cracked relationships with god, self, others and world):
I’m finding so many paralells between counseling chemically dependent sex offenders, murderers, and drug dealers and doing Junior High ministry. Let me explain …
When we do our assessment interviews, we are told to pay particular attention to the age when the client first started experimenting with drugs. There is a sense of “arrested development” that takes place emotionally (and cognitively). Coincidentally, most of our clients experiment with drugs before age 12. When I’m counseling, I’m often talking to a 12 year old mind in a 47 year old body.
But when I say, “Love God, Love Others.” Light-bulbs go on. Talking about the need to be restored and reconciled to God, self, others, and the world–they can grasp that. Rest assured everything you guys have been discussing here is having a secondary ripple effect in the lives of the 26 guys I’m counseling at the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (at the Lino Lakes Prison in MN).
Maybe YS should consider publishing a new line of Junior High materials: “The Adult Offender Editions”. Or would that be redundant?