The story of the church should be a human voice that inspires and educates. I recently read a chapter from Patagonia’s Let My People Go Surfing that created a conversation within my staff.
Patagonia is a company that prides itself on being passionate about the natural world, a love for human-powered sports, respect for adventure, and clothes that do nothing to hinder the lifestyle of it’s shoppers. They also believe that their customers are people who don’t shop for entertainment, are not looking to junk up their life, or be the target of aggressive advertising (Sadly, I find myself deeply compelled to wear their clothes so that people will think that I am deep, simple, and refusing to buy into consumerism. Their brilliant marketing has worked.). This is Patagonia’s story.
What does it mean to tell the story of the church?
Most people outside the church would describe the Church as being a judgmental group that destroys all fun in the world and creates a standard of living designed for us to fail. But we are people who believe the church is a living, breathing community bonded together by trying to follow Jesus.
The junior high world consists of trying to be cool, spending money on items that will make them look cool, and talking like people who they think are cool. How does the church fit into that lifestyle?
We inspire and educate. Following Jesus is about loving your neighbor, serving the broken, and being loved by God even though we don’t deserve it. The story of the church is one of brokenness and redemption, exile and return. Junior high students need to find their story and how it is fully connected and intertwined with God’s story. That is the church.