To think about mission without considering the changing nature of commitment in post modernity would be naive and for some time the changing nature of commitment has been buzzing around my head. what does it mean to commit or be committed to Christ? Is it that the old has gone and the new means we are instantly changed. Pete talks about denying the resurrection every time we walk past a homeless person or fail to to feed the hungry as part of his insurrection tour. I have been exploring the notion of commitment with a few young people (happy midi narrative) and others and the more I discuss it the more I am taken with idea that the process needs rethinking. If we are on a journey then maybe as Tuffty says it is about finding some values and committing to try and work to what these mean for you. I think he was hinting that it doesn’t start with a statement but is a life long process.
Often we see our role as helping young people learn values, but in that process our purposed dominance so easiliy comes to the fore and in doing we either either undermine the values we are seeking to communicate or we undervalue the depth of values by reducing them to words. Perhaps our role is recognise the lack of values and real commitment in our own lives and as we journey with young people recognise that we will encounter situations and circumstances where values can be encountered. Because when we pass the hungry with a young person and choose not to deny the resurrection and meet with that person, we encounter christ. Likewise when we walk past – will we have the humanity to discuss with the young person our disbelief in the resurrection.
The implication for mission is on the one hand huge – as if the nature of commitment has shifted we need to shift how we do evangelism. But if you are into emerging missional thinking the implication is to ensure you are as consistent in the going to the new place that you may set out with and continue this open journey with the young people to reframe and rediscover the resurrection in every encounter, and see today that Christ is doing a new thing.