In my last post I celebrated last weekend’s Faith4Thought conference at Calvary Baptist in State College, home of the most partying school in America, Penn State University. You can download my keynote talk at their website, by the way if you’d like to hear me yapping about all this worldview stuff, sharing about defining moments for me that lead me to this work I do.) I suggested that the CCO is an organization from which we can learn about churches reaching college age young adults. I noted that they are committed to the institutional church and that they help students gain a sense of vocation and calling, integrating faith into every area of life, including their future careers. (One of their slogans is “Transforming College Students to Transform the World.” Yay!)
Equipping laypeople—as mainline churches call those of us who are not clergy—for the work of ministry is something that nearly all denominations and faith traditions affirm. Whether this means lay folks are invited to, say, take up the offering on Sunday or are called to heroic short term mission service or to think deeply about how faith relates to their thinking and practice in their callings and careers, all depends. Some churches nurture discernment about God’s call in every aspect of life and others aren’t quite that missional or visionary. Some get people working for the parish, others encourage them to be culture-makers in the world. How seriously do we take the call of ordinary folks to find God in the ordinary things they do–work, voting, shopping? Do we really believe Romans 12:1-2 that says that life is worship? And that we need transformed minds and cultural non-conformity? It seems to me that CCO and the Faith4Thought event was interesting to young adults because these are some of the issues facing those in these crucible years. And many students did seem to want to look at books, resources for their journey…
So, join me in a little thought experiment. I’ll show some of the bookcovers of some of the titles we sold at this CCO sponsored college age gathering. If you can see them, you’ll see stuff on math, nursing, business, advertising, science, food, art, technology, etc. Then take the following little quiz.
When BookNotes writes about a Christian view of engineering or a faith-based approach to psychology or suggests books about a Biblical perspective on art or science or education or business, I think:
a) A Christian view of professions like medicine and math and biology? You’ve got to be kidding! Get me outta here! As a strategy for Christian outreach to young adults? That’s downright looney!
b) Reading books about the interface of theology and social life, Christianity and college classes? Economics and education and ecology in light of Jesus’ reign? Do you really think anybody wants to do that? Maybe at F4T they did, but most of us aren’t that geeky.
C) Hmmm. I claim to believe that Jesus is Lord, so I kinda guess there is some connection between my faith and thinking about this kind of stuff. Never thought of it quite like that before, really…I wonder if my friends at church would think this is weird? We don’t really talk about this that much and I’m not sure if they read books like this. Interesting…
d) You know, I know some artists and lawyers and social workers and have friends in business, and, well, yeah, I think they should know about some of these titles. They just might think that is helpful and pretty neat. I think I’ll suggest these titles to them. Who could I have good conversations with about these kinds of resources?
e) I’d love to start some kind of outreach with young professionals or students and let them know that God–and our church–care about their world, their work, their passions and ideals. Wow, maybe we could connect students and mentors, older folks with younger ones around career areas and marketplace discipleship. We’re gonna rock this town! Where’s my credit card, I gotta buy me some books!
Well, if it these seems a bit out of your comfort zone, or you are not passionate about sharing resources likes these with those who might care, why not listen to that talk I gave? You can download it here. I get pretty excited when I get to share our big dreams of making a difference by helping folks find a more wholistic vision of their discipleship so hold on to your hat! Thanks to Calvary for posting it. Thanks to BookNotes readers for spreading the word…