Swirlling thoughts on Bonhoeffer, Youth Ministry, Incarnation, Evangelism, & Global Media

Posted: February 1, 2011 in The Great Emergence, Theological Youth Ministry, Thesis
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s been too long since I blogged specifically on the Great Emergencce.

I recently heard a great sermon that included the life and testimony of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and our call to evangelism (hear part three of the sermon series here: faithabq.org). Bonhoeffer’s witness and writings help us consider what it means to confess our faith in the society marked by a life together through vast global social media outlets. As I look through lens of a Christian in the Lutheran tradition called to youth ministry here is what gets mixed up in my blender:

We can begin to grapple with ecclesiological question in the Great Emergence when we consider:

1. Bonhoeffer says that ultimate reality is found in Jesus Christ.  
2. Global mediums has made us interconnected producers of media – not just passive recepients
3. The Great Emergence suggest the church is wrestling with it’s identity, vocation, & has stirred up the question of the authority.
4. Nearly every expert observes a sea change in youth ministry, regardless of the how, all suggest the biggest change includes a deeper connection with a WHO (see Andy Root’s two recent books)

Given all that I think it leaves youth ministry along with the rest of the church striving to figure out how to be church fully embedded in the world without abandoning the vine which is Christ, or the Word of God which is Christ incarnate.  We are tempted to be synconistic with culture while we are embedded there instead of loving the world towards a place of redemption.

So what does all this academic mumbo jumbo mean for youth ministry?  We have to figure out how live with teenagers because we love them, because we need them, because we all need redemption, and teenagers need to hear and know through relationship the powerful good news of Jesus Christ. It’s not enough to just be “with” on facebook, twitter, or even hang out with on a Wednesday. We must strive to truly live with, suffer with, and boldly proclaim the Gospel in the name of Christ.

As part two of that sermon series reminded me. Bonehoeffer preached Christ to his death, living and suffering with his fellow prisoners in a concentration camp. His life was marked by genuine relationships and a bold spoken overt witness. We are called I think to do both today.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jerry Watts, Jerry Watts. Jerry Watts said: Swirlling thoughts on Bonhoeffer, Youth Ministry, Incarnation, Evangelism, & Global Media: http://wp.me/pvEX1-1e […]

  2. Hello,

    the christian doctrine in Germany is under attack. On the one hand the EKD ordains homosexuals to pastors and on the other hand there are a lot of re-baptizing sects (Bonhoeffer and Luther teached that re-baptism is strictly prohibited). Homosexuality is damned by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 1.

    The publics gaze in Germany is fixed or focused on the “agent” Bonhoeffer. However Bonhoeffers main aim was not the resistance against Hitler, but the renewal of the German Evangelical Church (former DEK, today EKD).
    Everybody must admit that the Third Reich is over but the EKD still exist with her big problems thus it would be adviceable to turn gaze on the theologian Bonhoeffer who has a lot of solutions for ecclesiastical problems.

    There are evil powers in Germany trying to keep the publics gaze on the “agent” Bonhoeffer and trying to prevent that Bonhoeffers theology gets well know because this would mean their sure downfall and would bring disaster upon them. They don’t want the problems of the EKD to be solved.

    I have started a website concerning this issue:

    Bonhoeffers best book: “The Cost of Discipleship”.
    A good book of Luther: “The Catechism”

    Kind regards,
    Rainer Braendlein (Munich, Germany)

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