Reboot Youth Ministry Blog Series: Making Room for the Other
The Perkins School of Theology, through a grant from the Lilly Endowment, began the process of creating “Reboot” several years ago. The purpose was to come alongside a diverse group of churches within three hundred miles of Dallas to connect and train leaders to help the whole church do innovative youth ministry. Due to this excellent work, a free resource to help youth workers engage their churches in youth ministry conversations is now available.
One of the many meaningful topics that emerged through the Reboot process had to do with exclusion and inclusion and what it meant to truly belong or be a part of a community of faith. This conversation took many turns, from larger societal exclusion due to things like economic differences, racial divisions, and political beliefs, to more personal stories of exclusion like, “I just moved here.” “I’m the new kid and I’m not coming to church unless I have a friend there,” and questions related to hospitality and culture.
A three-part blog series with entries by Priscilla Pope Levison, Bart Patton, and Chris Wilterdink explores the theological and practical importance of making space for the new, for strangers, for what some might call the “other.” I encourage youth workers to read this three-part series and become familiar with discipleship strategies and processes that can help turn strangers into friends and unfamiliar outsiders into cared-for peers.