From Thomas in Norway:
“I am a youth leader in our church and am blessed to lead a growing and committed youth ministry. We have lately realized something quite interesting (at least we think so), and I just wanted to ask about your opinion. You are probably familiar with the term: Belong –Believe –Behave. We have sensed a shift here moving towards: Belong –Behave –Believe. The youth that connect with us tend to start behaving before they believe.
I don’t mean that they speak in tongues or prophesy. They pray, serve, care for and help. These are values and things we want our Christians to have. In a way we can say that they are beginning to be discipled before they believe.
This is something that we see happening, we have not planned or strategized this. Or we have not heard anyone say anything about this. But we think this is the way things are happening. We have been into this “Belong –Believe –Behave –thing”for quite a while and have built our youth ministry according to it.
Belong –Behave –Believe is also Jesus’way of making disciples/ followers. He calls them to Himself, and when they commit to belonging, he starts forming them into disciples. The faith just comes somewhere in the process of being discipled.
We want to do this. But are not quite sure how?? So I wonder if you had any thoughts? Is this description of how we see things totally wrong? Do you know about anything we should read or check out about this? Basically, what do you think?
Hope you would be able to reflect a bit on this and get back to me.
(permission given to blog the email and my respsonse)
Do you mind if I put your question on my blog and get the response of others to balance out my own? And do you mind if you use your name and link to your blog?
Let me know
In the meantime, I think that young people are walking in the way of Jesus (involves a change of life –behave-) as a way of test driving the faith. We don’t command it of unbelievers, but for them to try out christianity, it involves walking the walk
Jesus said “ I am the way , and the truth and the life “–if we want to find out what it is like to follow him, then we start walking in the way, living out the truth, and experiencing the life. If the experimental journey is of greater importance to the emerging generation than the intellectual journey of their parents, then we should expect to see what you are seeing in your youth group, Expect it, but not demand it.
Sounds like you are on the right track.
Lets see what others say.