For all the energy and innovation we display in practice, there are some serious short comings in our understanding of mission within Christian children and youth work.
Much of our recent thinking on mission has been around the contextual nature of our practice. How do we contextualise the gospel in youth culture(s)? How do we pioneer new expressions of being church that resonate with people’s lived experience of spirituality and God? We also face some tricky questions around how our work to engage marginalised young people can be ‘proselytisation free’. Similar issues abound around the nature of Christian schools work and participation in community youth work. These questions aren’t easily answered by the conversation on contextualisation because the call into question our broader understanding of the purpose of mission. We are still vexed by what John Stott famously called the two sides of the coin when it comes to Christian mission – evangelism and social action. We can’t separate these ‘requirements’ but we also struggle to hold them together. For mission work with children, young people and families to flourish we need to revisit this debate and, for many of us at least, do a better job of articulating what we hope to achieve. Read more here
posted by Gemma Traquair