December brings a youth pastor to think about what on earth she’ll tell her (or his) students the following year. What series will we teach? What books will we encourage them to read? How will we disciple them? I came across a quote that is shaping my response to this question in a book called “Telling The Truth: The Gospel As Tragedy, Comedy, & Fairy Tale” by Frederick Buechner. On page 8 he says’
“But to preach the Gospel is not just to tell the truth but to tell the truth in love, and to tell the truth in love means to tell it with concern also for the people it is being told to. So it’s crucial to keep them in mind too, the hearers…
…the preacher must always try to feel what it is like to live inside the skins of the people he (or she) is preaching to, to hear it as they hear it.”
Translation: The youthworker must always think about what it must be like to hear the message with the ears of an 11, 12, or 13 year old (older if you’re speaking to high school students). What’s it like to hear and experience what you’re saying when you see the world with the eyes of someone who has yet to go through puberty? What does it mean to enter into the story of the Gospel when a student is learning to write his first research paper?
What’s it like to hear about the new series coming up when you can’t remember what homework you have for tomorrow? The answers to these questions are shaping my planning for winter and spring, maybe it will shape your plans too?