Soulnet 2015 – session 2

31 Jan

Live blog from session 2 at Soulnet.
We start with a vote to change from having 2 morning sessions to having 1 bigger one, but starting later and finishing earlier.
Mike then introduces Krish Kandiah, who will be leading this session.

Krish starts by introducing us to his family, finishing with a beautiful comment about his youngest child, who he and his wife adopted. When he was first fostered he was introduced as “a biter”. Krish said that when he heard this he thought “is “biter” the right way to describe a human being?” Krish reminds us that God doesn’t see us for just the worst thing that we have done, but instead looks at us and sees us as beautiful.
Krish asks us how many from a youth group of 10 young people 10 years ago will still be in contact with the church in their 20’s. The average answer we give is 2 or 3. Krish reveals that the answer 3.
Krish notes that a lot of people are pleased that they got the right answer, rather than being appalled that we are losing 70% of our youth!
He then asks us what we think the main reasons are.
One suggests that we often do not have adults who are modelling something exciting about being a Christian. Another suggests that it is how we treat people based on their sexuality. Another suggests that there is often nothing put on for young people and students as they get older.

Krish poses the paradox that sometimes we can find that the more securely we seek to ground young people in the Faith, the more vulnerable we may be leaving them in the long run.
Krish suggests that we should look to encourage our young people to wrestle with the challenging stuff, rather than creating clones and putting their faith in a nice, neat box. We need to help them build up a faith that has firm foundations, not one that can fall down if 1 thing changes.
What is the level of theological expertise are we giving our young people? Are we matching their academic ability with the way we talk about God to them? We need to reveal God in His fullness, which means dealing with the touch parts of the Bible with young people, not just the nice, safe bits.

Krish shows us a slide, showing that there are 3 key aspects to the Christian faith: Story, Praxis (doing) and community. He compares it to how WeightWatchers works.
He comments that none of these 3 areas work on their own and then asks us which area we tend to focus on the most in our ministry.

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