Okay, I really have to do this. I ran to the bookstore today and yes (on a really tight budget, LOL) I got Joshua Harris’ latest book titled Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters. The cover’s got one of my favorite contemporary writers ( Donald Miller) writing a recommendation and on the inside there’s one by Hip Hop Artist, Lecrae. It gonna be a good read already, yes I’m sure of that.
I’m eight pages into the book (241 pages), and I already have a lot to think about. So let me share some thoughts:
- In the opening words of the book, Josh shares an intriguing fact about the Amish Lifestyle. About a period in their lives when the teenagers are allowed to see all the sides of life (yes including sex, drugs, parties and alcohol) and are then left to choose for themselves the Amish faith. It’s called ‘Rumspringa’. Josh relates it to his own background. And I’m really asking myself (who grew up in a ‘christian’ family), if I had a chance to have a ‘Rumspringa’, would I have chosen Jesus still?
- Josh goes on to voice a hard and yet humbling thought. As Christians, who should be blamed when our hearts aren’t aflamed?
“My reasoning went something like this: I was spiritually shallow because the pastors’ teaching had been shallow. . . I was a hypocrite because everyone else had been a hypocrite. . .”
- And thirdly, I am a youth worker at my local church so it really caught my attention as Josh Harris reminisces about his years as a teenager in his local church. Without much ado, in his own words: “. . .the goal was simple: put on a show; get kids in the building, and let them see that Christians are cool, thus Jesus is cool. We had to prove that being a Christian is, contrary to popular opinion and even a few annoying passages of the Bible, loads of fun. . . For me, dancing like Michael Jackson that night has come to embody my experience in a big, evangelical, seeker-oriented youth group. It was fun, it was entertaining, it was culturally savvy (at the time), and it had very little to do with God. Sad to say, I spent more time studying Michael’s dance moves for that drama assignment than I was ever asked to invest in studying about God.”
Josh later goes on to say how he wished someone had expected more from him (referring to a deeper pursuit of God instead of fun). Teens love fun, hip music and the buzz but how do we keep the balance. How do we keep them grounded in God and not running from church?
Eight pages in Josh Harris new book and I have lots of questions already. You might have the book, you might not. You might plan to read it or haven’t even heard about it? But I would love to read your opinions on these questions.
- Are you a Christian brought up in a ‘Christian’ family? If you had a chance at your own ‘Rumspringa’ would you still choose God?
- As Christians, who is to be blamed when our hearts aren’t aflamed (for Jesus). The church, the pastors, other Christians or the Christian?
- We all want a next generation wide and awake to the God reality, on ‘fire’ and doing great things for Jesus but in the eyes of the present fad and already tagged ‘boring’ Christianity, how do we keep our teens grounded in God and not running from church?
I would love to hear from you…