Thursday, May 28, 2015

Balancing Knowing and Experiencing

I have a Bachelor of Theology, studied over the best part of a decade.
I've also been a Christian for nearly two decades.

I've listened to many hundreds of sermons; given hundreds of talks and read/skimmed thousands of books or articles about Jesus, faith, ministry and the church.
I've been to various kinds of churches and engaged with many spiritual disciplines, even if I didn't enjoy all of them.

In both cases, the former is based in a knowledge of God and the later is based in the experience of God.

Churches, especially youth ministries, should seek to provide a healthy balance and mix of both.

This is why a just-play-games-and-keep-them-entertained youth group will be inadequate.

This is why the creeds will always matter.

This is why the sermon matters during a church service.

In part, this is one of the reasons as a youth I was exposed to various kinds of church services and I have no qualms taking my teens to events which are outside their usual experience - like this one a few weeks ago.

This is why I'll do things like tenebrae services and regularly invite others to use a prayer labyrinth.

This is why, every week in church, I'll ask those in the congregation to share where they've seen God during the last week.

For Christians will be malnourished if they are just fed only a diet of knowledge or experience.

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