Our graduated students continue to be an incredible blessing to me.
Some of them still get a chance to spend time with me, talking about life and what God’s leading them through. It’s sometimes surreal speaking with them now as adults. It’s hard not to picture the punk-freshmen, who seemed to only care about Mountain Dew and Pop-Tarts.
Now, seemingly all of a sudden, they are the signed, sealed, delivered, Christ-focused adults; making their way within the Universal Church. It is truly awesome to witness!
As history has told us, young people have, and likely will continue to thrust the world into change. Typically, they’re open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. They just plain haven’t settled. Young people in the church are no different.
Many times we see young adults grabbing onto and promoting the latest, when most of us are holding onto the safest. They are a key part to our vision-casting, and we should pay attention to what’s important to them. It might just give us a glimpse into the future.
All this considered, a few of our graduated students are these kinds of people. They seem to be on the cutting edge of what the Universal Church is unfolding next. Something that has sparked my interest as of late, is a move back to poetry.
Through the 90’s, I never would have expected to go to a Christian music festival and see poets mixed in with my favorite hard rock bands. Flash-forward to today, and it’s a trend that is growing in popularity. Dramatic spoken word seems to be making a huge come back within alternative Christian circles and it is fascinating to watch.
Thanks to one of our grads, Jessi; I have already featured two of these poets here at JeremyNortonBlog.com. For a quick look, click the following artist-links and scroll down to the embedded YouTube clips: Levi The Poet & Janette…ikZ.
All of this brings us up to last night. Another one of our grads named Keith sent me a text, telling me I needed to check out a poet-group called Listener. It turns out that Listener has been touring with some of Keith’s favorite bands.
I should mention that Keith is a metal-head to say the least. He’s into the kind of music that most of the Christian conservative world would find distasteful. Some may even judge the sound and question these bands’ Christian character.
Keith continues to choose artists who have devoted their lives to Christ, putting forth unique sounds (whatever they may be) to reach their culture, and glorifying God in their way. As a youth pastor, I have learned that the sound just doesn’t matter. Lyrical content is the key to an artists heart. The sound may hold the emotion, but the words hold the message.
Getting back to our new trend in poetry and our new-found artist, Listener. Keith told me to watch a video designed around Listener’s title “Wooden Heart“. Needless to say, I was impressed. I listened as the poet described the church, in one of the most unique ways I have ever heard. Check it out below.
For me, the refrain of the poem sank deep into my heart, with ever repeat.
“So come on and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief. And fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach. Come on and sew us together, tattered rags stained forever. We only have what we remember.“
Perhaps, this is a small glimpse of the kind of worship that we’ll see in worship services of the future? I can’t say I’d be disappointed.
How do you see young people’s worship preferences impacting the future of the Universal Church?