There’s an op-ed piece and several responses going around this week about how religion isn’t necessary for raising “good kids” that has had me thinking. Is raising good kids what faith is about? I think most youth ministry people I know would say faith is a whole lot more. In a recent blog post for parents on our church website I wrote about how faith is about fierce love,
“In the past, Sunday school and youth group were often focused on morality. But, faith is more than being “good.” Following Jesus is about transformation of our own lives and transformation of the world. When things fall apart, when society is a mess, we have hope that God’s fierce love for us and for the world has the power to make things better. Each of us has personal stories of the power of love to heal relationships, bring about justice, and overcome hatred. Being a moral person is a likely side effect, not the purpose, of practicing faith.”
Much of my thinking on this has been shaped by the writing of Kenda Creasy Dean, who I got to meet last December! (see selfie on the right) Check out her books, Almost Christian and Starting Right: thinking Theologically About Youth Ministry to learn about how church should be about more than being good and nice.