This weekend Ashley and I are at Y.S. (youth specialties) conference. Y.S. is one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) Youth Ministry source in America. Many Authors and speakers work with or for Y.S. including Duffy Robins, Steve Gerali, Tony Campolo, Mark Yaconelli, Jim Burns, Mark Matlock, Doug Fields, Rob Hensser, Michael Kast, Steven James, Tony Jones, and many more. Most of those guys are here at the Y.S. conference. We’re here to staff the YLI (Youth Leadership Institute) table. I’ll be posting probably again to summarize the whole thing.
Tonight we graced Tony Campolo with our presence at a small part of His seminar on Youth and Politics. We only stayed for a little while because there were no seats left and we were standing. Campolo started out explaining that Jesus message is about “Changing the world” now. He said while growing up he never got that message, he never heard about Jesus wanting to change the world. How wild is it that people can be in church and never hear about Jesus plan to change the world? How can that concept ever be left out of the gospel and still be the Gospel? Isn’t changing the world the essence (in the purest definition of the word) of the good news? Isn’t that why it’s good news? Tony, like me, grew up hearing that the biggest reason to be a Christian is to get out of Hell.
I’d like to take a quote from Rob Bell a little farther than I’ve taken it before. Rob Bell says “of it doesn’t work in your own back yard it doesn’t work for everybody else.” Maybe if the Gospel doesn’t work in our “own backyard,” here and now, it doesn’t work for eternity. What makes us think that a gospel that has no plan for now could give us something when we die? If it doesn’t work now it’s not eternal!