“I’m excited and I feel privileged to have found out my history to know where I came from so I know where I can go, ” said Donna Lowry. She was describing her youTheology journey as a high school student. For her, it was a journey that entailed learning about where she came from and her faith was build. See what she has to say in the video below.
(Click this link if you can’t see the video: https://vimeo.com/30579995)
Dona was talking about knowing here tradition.
Now, tradition is a word that makes some people uncomfortable. However, it is integral to an extraordinary youth ministry? Why does it matter?
Here are three reasons why you need to reach back to tradition:
- Provide inspiration. Young people badly want to make their lives count and are trying to figure out how their faith fits this longing. They seek role models of those who did this and these people are right there in our tradition. As you uncover the rich heritage of your tradition, you will find people who thought about and experienced God in profound ways and were bold in proclaiming God. Sometimes their role was to call people back to faithful Christian living. They often paid some kind of price. Out of this history of struggle and witness particular doctrines and polities were formulated that formed the tradition. Young people find these stories are very inspiring.
- Help with identity formation. Young people are forming identity. As I wrote in the post, “Why a Selfie,” “young people are looking at the meaning of their existence, examining who they are and seeking feed back from others as they form identity.” When they know their tradition, a richer self emerges. Think of the difference it makes when you know the stories of your family’s past, even your parents’, and how that helps you to better understand who you are and why you do some of the things you do. Moreover, this grounding in tradition is especially important in a time when much is changing and new norms are emerging.
- Chart a solid future. As you know, failing to remember the past results in a cycle of mindless repetition of its positive and negative aspects. The future is not lived as fully and meaningfully as it should be. Thus, when young people know their tradition, they know what to avoid and what to celebrate. In addition, they can creatively envisage and construct a future that is in harmony with their identity.
As an extraordinary youth ministry, examining tradition is a key part of who we are in youTheology we take a look back at tradition. We do this in two ways:
- Learning Pan-Methodist history.
- Examining the history of the Wesleys and some of the distinctiveness of the Wesleyan tradition.
We do this in the classroom and on the road. This is what Dona was talking about in the video.
To make this easier for you, we have the following lessons available at a very special price (Click on each title to find out more.)
There is a sale on each of these lessons.
However, we’ve got something even bigger for you.
Check it out and see what we have in store for you to help your young people reach back to their tradition so that they can go forward confidently.