In one of his best-known songs, Bruce Cockburn sings about “lovers in a dangerous time.” Well, there’s no doubt that our world is under siege and that we are living in a dangerous time. With massive crises threatening life all over our planet – economic crises, social crises, ecological crises, the list goes on and on – our faith can’t afford to ignore the reality of our diverse and fragile world. Our faith needs to move or inspire us to get our hands not just dirty, but downright bruised and bloody as we work against the tremendous forces of hatred, death, and suffering in our world.
That’s what this third volume in the “Faith Forward” series is about. It’s about forming Christian “lovers” in the dangerous time in which we live. It’s about dousing the flames of hatred and suffering in our world by pouring out unconditional, sacrificial love. It’s about having rich and meaningful and difficult conversations about how we can do ministry with children, youth, and families in ways that have the power to heal the world. How can we empower children and youth to disrupt the world with God’s love? How can we empower them to overturn the tables and shatter the walls, and to pour out compassion, and justice, and love in the world?
This kind of ministry isn’t easy or popular work. And it isn’t going to pack kids into our church. But it’s truly life-and-death work, and we need to do it as embodiments of God’s hope and healing.
Like the other books in this series, Faith Forward Volume 3 collects the wisdom of some the leading “thinkers” and “shakers” and “movers” in the arena of ministry with children and youth, including Alaa Basatneh, Brian D. McLaren, Soong-Chan Rah, Waltrina N. Middleton, Daniel White Hodge, Lisa and Mark Scandrette, Marcia J. Bunge, Leslie Neugent, Ivy Beckwith, Eboo Patel, Almeda M. Wright, and Amy K. Butler.