I rediscovered the painting (artist: Toby Edward Rosenthal) recently on a visit to a local monastery hosting a workcamp. And I stood for a good ‘ol long while just a’thunking upon it.
This seems as good as any visual representation of the challenge of youth ministry today. We want to do as good a job as possible to represent to the next generations a church we perceive as strong, vibrant… ummm, errr, ahhh, awake! Yet, to do such a thing, we are gonna have to make sure that the church is actually … ummm, errr, ahhh, awake!
And, that’s the conundrum, the problem.
Do we fear getting involved with the church because we are unsure of what mood we will find it in when it awakes? Is it easier for us to work unencumbered by relationship/ relating to the older church, leadership, the pastor?
In some youth ministry circles, there is conversation revolving around the suggestion of post-denominational youth ministry. Yet, in Catholic circles, hospitals, religious orders, colleges are all looking anew at catholic identity.
In this day and age of the mosh-pit merging of faith in Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, our role is not to just “portray” the Church as awake, but to ensure that it is awake.