i am in the middle of andrew root and kenda dean’s latest book “the theological turn in youth ministry”. andy explains that Jesus was a representative for us in his death on the cross, and that, likewise, we ought to be a representative for our students. this representation appears in a number of ways, and he asks some really tough reflection questions for every youth worker to consider in their ministry areas. thought I’d share them on here. this is all directly from the book:
a representative is qualified. Jesus was qualified to be our true representative by incarnation, crucifixion and ressurection. have we helped our volunteers and young people do deep theoretical reflection on human action and theological action? or have we settled for a programmatic focus?
a representative must regularly face in two-directions. Jesus, as the church confesses, was simultaneously the Son of Man and the Son of God, human like us, but also completely other. youth workers and volunteers have been taught to identify with adolescents, but have they also been taught the importance of differentiation?
a representative must suffer. God in Jesus suffered the full human condition. have we understood that (youth) ministry demands suffering? are we aware that youth ministry is more than just fun and games, that it is a call to bear the suffering of the adolescent as one follows the suffering of Christ?
representation flows from vocation. Jesus could not be distracted from his vocation of the cross that bore the suffering love of the Father for the world. can youth workers articulate that suffering love in youth ministry is about doing but also about thinking? have we seen ourselves as local theologians reflecting and articulating Gods continued unveiling in the world?
those who are being represented know themselves as being apart of the representational event or act. Jesus calls his disciples to love as he does; discipleship (as Bonhoeffer asserted) is the invitation to follow Jesus to the cross. have youth workers helped adolescents see and participate in representation? do youth workers see their part in helping adolescents themselves become representatives of Christ in the world?
just wanted to share those questions. makes for great fodder with volunteers/fellow youth workers.