December 12, 2015

Belong, Behave, Believe

If you work with young adults, you are constantly in conversation with people whose spiritual beliefs are frequently fluctuating. Not all of them. But it is, for many, the stage of life when all you've known to be true is up for grabs.

Too often, we regulate issues of faith solely to mental ascent to a set of ideas or practices. But the longer I do the work I do, the more I am convinced that beliefs and behaviors are secondary to belonging if we hope to see robust spiritual lives that will survive the years of college and early career building among those we work with.

My experience has been that  belonging to a particular community makes it much easier for one to find their way into the kind of practices that draws you towards a life like Jesus'. And in doing so, one finds that they are convicted, convinced of something they may never have been sure they ever would.

It seems to me that when we start with an expectation of right beliefs or right behaviors first, folks rarely stick around long enough to belong to such a community.

Welcome >> Practice >> Confess. What if your work with young adults–or new people of any age–coming towards your community was shaped by this progression?

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