Youthwork the Conference Day 1

20 Nov

Over the next few days i will be posting my journalled thoughts and relfections during my time in Eastbourne. Some will be thoughts on the conference and the things i have learnt and some will be personal reflections upon my journey and the things God has been saying to me and what i am working through.

We were asked at the start of the full timers pre-conference event to consider our expectations for this time.

My immediate thoughts were that i had none. Instead of hopes and expectations i was using it to break from normaility, from routine.

But as i began to empty my mind and attempt to become still these thoughts came to mind.

– restore my soul
– restore my passion
– give me new/renewed vision
– what is God calling me/us to over the next few years?

We spent this first session with Rob Bell delving into the Torah and looking at its influence on Jesus’ teaching and how it should speak into what we hear through Jesus.

Rob spoke about 2 locations

1) Jerusalem – respresenting the Jewish Christians, the tradtion that they have, the back catalogue, the true way.

2) Lystra – Lystra a place of gods and no pre-knowledge. We went on to explore Paul’s appraoch to sharing God’s message, the message of Alam Haba ‘living in harmony with God’ in a place where they have no reference point.

For many of us i’m sure it struck chords within youth work. We often work with young people who don’t have the same reference pointd as many in our churches and how do we communicate affectively with them.

We went onto look at the tensions that can arise from these 2 competing cultures.

Jerusalem – ‘our churches’ paying our pay checks

Lystra – many young people we meet with.

Paul communicated very differently with the peopel of Lystra starting with their gods and having to use language that was on the edge that could be misinterpreted by people looking in. Paul didn’t start with talk of YHVH and Torah because they just wouldn’t have understood it, he had to start in a different place.

However what we didn’t look at were what many will face is those groups that have a combination of both, yp brought up within church with prior knowledge of the other group who don’t, all together.

This has a interesting knock on to what we teach. Do we try to root everybody in our church understanding and often the baggage that come with that?

A good time, Rob also introduced us to a way of understanding in a cyclical way the human condition presented to us time and time again throughout the bible and history.

I must write up these notes at some point to re-process.

A nice walk back to my B&B about 20 mins down the coast. I feel tired but also excited about some of this stuff we have started to grapple with.

It’s been a good day, time alone, good teaching and the opportunity to see some old friends.

(Good to see you Tim, leave me a comment i love to think of you sitting besides Lake Geneva typing away)

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