Show Them That You Care!

Perhaps you’ll enjoy reading over my shoulder again. This is an email exchange that came up yesterday. I think his questions and passion speak volumes for us and some of his questions might help us take a fresh look at how we all live in the world…

Just listened to the latest podcast Why are we so angry?. It’s so funny (or tragic) how I flop back and forth between laughing with you and then feeling guilty that I’m laughing. Guess I’m still detoxing.

I’d love your perspective on something. I’ve had such a heart for young people for years, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to enter their post-modern world. I’m a designer/illustrator by trade
and really want to mentor/apprentice kids in the arts. I’ve been hanging out at this group that gets together once a month. The desire is to create opportunity for artists to share or be a light to someone who doesn’t know Christ. However, it usually devolves into a Bush-hating-social-gospel-nothing-is-really-true kind of rant. I understand these people are reacting to Church abuse/irrelevance/hypocrisy, etc. I’ve seen enough of it myself. Yet, God and His word are still true. The tolerance and open-minded atmosphere is so full of arrogance. Yet, I feel drawn to them. I don’t want to appear to be a pig-headed evangelical, yet I can’t nod and smile at some of the foolishness that passes for enlightenment. Add to that mix we are meeting in New Haven, in the shadow of Yale (shudder). Any insight/encouragement?

You gave me a good chuckle this morning. I love the fact that you realize how false your guilt even while you’re experiencing it.

As to your opportunity to touch kids through the arts… PRICELESS! I’m glad you’re there, glad you’re not falling back on old approaches to engage them, which (as you say) wouldn’t engage them at all. The key here is not to fight over ideas, but just to show them that you care about them as people. You don’t have to smile at their foolishness, and you don’t have to agree with them. They can handle that. In fact, some of them want to be wrong.

But this is not a war of ideas; these are lost children God wants loved. Apologetics will not win them. Love will transform them. Look beyond their words and their arrogance and acknowledge them as individuals who are asking some huge questions. Show an interest in them personally and you’ll be amazed at the conversation you’ll get to have with various ones of them.

Don’t worry about the larger atmosphere there. Sometimes ‘ministries’ like this prefer to control the environment thinking they’re being helpfull, when they are just pushing kids away. Just love whoever is in front of you and God will give you the words to say and the demeanor that will most speak of him. I guess I’m saying get your eyes off of the larger worldview conflict going on and just love them as people with a humble honesty and God will do some incredible things. I’m glad you’re there…

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2 Comments
  1. kent August 31, 2006 at 8:39 am

    Imagine this. I used an Ashley Simpson song my two younger girls were listening to on the way to school this morning. It was a song about LOVE. Yes, she had it all wrong as I\’m sure you can imagine, but it gave me the opportunity to explain the contrast between human love and Father\’s unconditional love without cutting the song down. If we look with open eyes we will begin to see Fathers face shining through alot of the art in culture. Kids I think are more able and more willing to hear these truths when approached in this manner. I want to learn how to engage them where they are with His truth because He will use anything to speak to them.

  2. kent August 31, 2006 at 11:39 am

    Imagine this. I used an Ashley Simpson song my two younger girls were listening to on the way to school this morning. It was a song about LOVE. Yes, she had it all wrong as I\’m sure you can imagine, but it gave me the opportunity to explain the contrast between human love and Father\’s unconditional love without cutting the song down. If we look with open eyes we will begin to see Fathers face shining through alot of the art in culture. Kids I think are more able and more willing to hear these truths when approached in this manner. I want to learn how to engage them where they are with His truth because He will use anything to speak to them.

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