There is some crazy stuff bubbling up on the ground with young people across the country that are in touch with StreetSpace work. Our context is very much a praxis approach to youth work, where we carry and work out of a values systems (professional youth work and a kingdom shalom wholeness ethic) but do not talk explicitly about these values. We want to embrace and hear the values the young people bring, so together we can find a new way of being. For more on Symbiotic youth work check out Here be Dragons.
So I know the stories below (and the others like them that spring up) are not forced, but self determined by the young people themselves.
“Don’t tell anyone, but we started meeting up to tell God about all the stuff that stresses us out – it might sounds weird, but it totally makes us feel better afterwards” Turns out they had been recommended to pray about their troubles by another friend who “is really naughty and used to smoke weed until two weeks ago”. Yet another friend, a few weeks ago, went round telling her friends that she’d started praying and didn’t want to cut herself so much now and they should try praying too.
( from a recent drugs work project happening locally) One YP said “do you think it is ok to sign my name the rollerblader of faith ….” Then he looks on iPad for a Jesus outfit to come to the sk8 jam as Jesus ,,, J then says “did Jesus have a brother I could come as his brother …”
Three tweets on praxis.
When we engage in genuine (values informed) praxis a web of relationships evolves around us where yP appropriate with us the kingdom.
This is what, I think, is going on in the StreetSpace community on the ground, young people appropriate the parts that connect with their real lived experiences, and try to make sense of that in the every day.
Missional praxis engenders a community that facilitates dissent but still embraces the dissenter as a co-conspirator towards wholeness
I am not sure why he wants to dress up as jesus, in part it is identification, in part for a laugh, but it is dissent, both from his peers, and tradition. The good part is that the web of relationships around him will be fine with it and if not we will work that out as we go, and all move towards wholeness.
As a group tell their story they learn & engage from the web of beliefs around them, mission strategies hinder this but mission praxis doesn’t.
There is something in the telling of the story (you started praying or calling yourself blader of faith) that enables and frees people to engage and make sense of the web of beliefs emerging around them. If we have fixed strategies I am not sure they would happen in the same way and if our ideas or strategies about where this goes next are fixed, we will break the fragile strands of the web evolving.
If fancy supporting our work on the ground you can give online