2013 Synod Assembly Presentation
It is a joy to be with you and to share a few thoughts about Youth & Family ministry here in the NC Synod.
Please pray with me…
God of all stories, you draw us into your story and we yearn to know more. Guide us, lead us and teach us to share your story with others. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Joyfully Sharing God’s Story – it’s bold, it’s audacious and while I probably shouldn’t say this but you know my filter isn’t as good as some or most of you but we SUCK at sharing God’s story because we don’t know it.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
We’re not very equipped…
George Barna research stats are not encouraging.
The days of simple play and Bible stories shared around a table are, in most places, a thing of the past.
Today we’re bombarded with information.
How are we, the church, connecting with this reality?
Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels.
Many professing Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples.
60 percent of Americans cannot name even five of the Ten Commandments.
A considerable number of respondents to one poll indicated that Billy Graham preached the Sermon on the Mount.
12 percent of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.
82 percent of Americans believe “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse.
88% of Americans own a Bible – what are they doing with it?
We’ve failed more than one generation. The ability to articulate our faith is sometimes non-existent.
BUT, there are people out there and people in here yearning to connect to something beyond the darkness of Good Friday. They are yearning to hear a word of grace, a touch of forgiveness or a reason to be about this task of living in a world filled with some serious darkness.
I think we Joyfully Share God’s story when we connect the stories of our book of faith with our own lives and bring the stories of the biblical characters to life. Today we’ll share 5 out of the 52 you’ll be hearing about for the next year.
1. Teach me the story of Nathan and David so that I can speak truth to power in the midst of injustice.
2. Teach me the story of Chenaniah so that as a parent of a musically gifted son, I can make sure that he knows that his understanding of music and willingness to share it is a gift from God.
3. Teach me the story of Ruth and Naomi so that I know how to welcome the stranger in my midst and journey with them.
4. Let me share with you the story of Micah and what I’ve learned about justice, kindness and walking humbly down the halls of my university.
5. Teach me the story of Sarah so that I can laugh in the midst of the seemingly impossible.
I invite you on a journey with me – a journey where we look at a story of the Bible each week. I’ll tweet these out and include the text. How will you be Joyfully Sharing God’s Story this next year?
Our young people need us to know these stories so they flow from our conversations as easily as the latest reference to some Duck Dynasty or Honey Boo Hoo or whatever star. Biblical illiteracy can be a thing of the past. It’s ok to not know the stories. It’s not okay to stay that way.
I’m asked many times during my ministry among you what we can do for our young people. I’m convinced the very best thing we can give our children, and youth would be to surround them with adults who know the stories and can share them joyfully.
Let’s get to work. If we are going to go forward together, in Christ, in community, it is imperative that we weave God’s story into our story. Thanks be to God for the gift of story in our lives.