Discerning Mission

Rethinking Evangelism - Recap Question Two

Courtney Young is a graduate of Luther Seminary - M.Div. with an emphasis in Congregational Mission and Leadership. Missional, a Millennial, and a new mother, Courtney shares her thoughts with us here:
 

Why is faith in Jesus essential for life today?

This question was hard for me because the slightly suspicious, post-modern Millennial that I am is very skeptical of any answer that sounds like anything trying to prove to anyone that Jesus is their Lord and Savior and that he is going to forgive their sins so that they can join him in heaven after they die. Again that just smacks of paternalistic authority as the church walks around and tells people not only what is ontologically wrong with them, but also how they should fix it. 

Rejecting that idea, I got thinking about story. People have to construct their identity in a much more intense way than they've ever needed to before. Identity is essentially a story that you tell about yourself that makes sense of your personhood and your actions in the world. 

I wonder if that is why there are so many fandoms now. There are Whovians and Trekkies, Twihards and Bronies, and let us not forget the Potterheads and Ringers. These fandoms are all searching for a story to tell that makes sense of who they are and what they want to be in the world. Maybe they are a Gryffindor or a Ravenclaw.  Maybe they are a Hobbit or an Elf. Maybe they hope that they will be the Doctor's next companion. Something about these stories helps people make sense of themselves.

People need Jesus because they need to hear his story. They need to know that they have been and are still a part of Jesus' story. They need to hear how the Word has been fighting for them since the beginning of time and through all of history. It is a great story of adventure and love and sacrifice. In this story, they would know that they are forgiven, they are free, and they are loved. Maybe members of this fandom could be called Christians.

Now it's your turn: Why is faith in Jesus essential for life today?

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Photo credit: potterheads, Creative Commons image by lilystardust on Flickr

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