Some Insights Into Community Experiences

Originally published August 2006.

A lot of effort gets expended to develop youth group community.  The theory is good which is why effort is expended.  When individuals of different ages, different schools, different backgrounds gather together to learn about the same God in the same youth group, community makes that experience go so much further.  We all have memories of such experiences in our own Christian faith walk, whether it was on a retreat or a Chrysalis weekend or a small group Bible study or an extended season in a youth group.  

There are two universal truths about community experiences: they come whether planned or unplanned and they come to an end no matter what you plan.

A Culture of Noise--Or Not

Originally published in April 2004.

You know we are a culture of noise when you try to enforce the rule on your weekend retreat of no outside music.  Teens always balk at it.  You have to continually confiscate all sorts of electronic devices that earphone music into their heads.  These days you even have to look for the jackets and sunglasses that have electronic noise makers wired in.

Then there is the issue of cell phones.  Do you ban them at group meetings?  Do you accept them with rules?  Round and round you can go with that issue.

Oh the quagmire technology has brought us!

The Power of Stories to Heal Spiritual Attachment Disorder

Originally published April 2006.

An attachment disorder loosely defined is a psychological condition that starts in early development. A baby is completely dependent on a caregiver to fulfill the basic needs of food, comfort and safety. Nurturing fulfillment promotes optimal development and facilitates a secure attachment relationship between the caregiver and the child.  However, maltreatment such as abuse or neglect may compromise development and cause social, cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems as the child grows. This creates the condition called attachment disorder. Basically the child has never experienced the kind of love that perseveres through joy and sorrow.

We all have suffered from some sort of attachment disorder in our relationship with our Father God.  We don't understand His love. We don't trust His grace. We don't accept His touch. We forget about His compassion. We act out and then slowly realize that it's still safe to come home.  It takes us a while to realize the kind of love that perseveres through joy and sorrow.