Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Godbearing Life

I did it! I finished my January non-fiction book. I didn't make all of my January goals, but this is one that I did, and it was completely worth it.

There are basically two main premises to the book. #1, we as youth leaders are not called to develop students who attend church regularly. We are called to develop Godbearers; people who offer glimpses of the living God to all those they come into contact with. #2, we need to be Godbearers. Kenda Creasy Dean and Ron Foster (the authors of the book) are not just rewriting the phrase "you can't lead where you haven't been." The implication of that phrase, it often feels, is that the purpose of developing my faith is so that I can be a more effective leader. I grow into my faith SO THAT I can lead others to grow into their faith. Dean and Foster, however, remove the "so that" from the equation. We grow into faith and become Godbearers. Period. This development of our faith, this rooting ourselves in our identity as children of God, this walking step in step with our Creator results in us having a "flammable faith." Dean and Foster write:

Only if we are seasoned and dry and small, only if we remain close to the Flame, only if we allow room for the Holy Spirit to fan the sacred sparks that come to rest in us do we create the conditions for flammable faith...Godbearing youth ministry requires vulnerable leaders, leaders who serve as God's tinder and are ready to catch fire.

This book says it's about Godbearing youth ministry, but I would highly recommend it to EVERYONE who desires to minister, either professionally or in lay leadership.


Chrissie said...

I really wanted to leave comments on your other blog but it wont let me because they give you the funky security word, but no place to write it? I am not sure if it is the template or my computer but I wanted to tell you I think you are doing great!

If you want to experiment with soups in the weeks to come I would love to do that with you. I have been getting pretty creative but would love you to experiment with me sometime!!

Suzanne Townsend said...

Chrissie, thanks for letting me know about not being able to post (I think it was the template) and also for the encouragement. I know I can be too hard on myself. Today I found my old 12 steps nametag with the new practices I was going to develop after the class, and one of them was self care. It was a good reminder that I am deserving of taking the time to take care of myself.

elizdong said...

this was also originally on your other blog, but i couldn't post it!

italian bean soup with potatoes sounds delicious. i need to get myself to the grocery store so i can start cooking again. my mom has two brand new crockpots at home and i really wanted to take one with me, but i'm now glad i didn't seeing as how i was stuck in denver with all my luggage for a night. i never did go to chandler's, which i probably could have seen coming. i should never try to plan things when it comes to coming home & seeing what my family plans at the last minute.

stay strong! i'm trying to stay strong myself...it's too easy to wish i bought a one way flight to seattle instead.

Suzanne Townsend said...

I think I fixed the comments issue on my other blog!