BY: Dwight Johnson

 

MLK Day:  A Social Justice Conversation for Youth

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is next Monday, January 18, 2021. MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service. It is “a day on, not a day off.” It is a day to remember MLK’s unflinching legacy of civil rights and human dignity and to work to improve your community and the communities of those less fortunate. In light of this day, we ask you to participate in a new CYMT community: Theology Together.

Theology Together educates both teenagers and youth workers as they engage in theological reflection, spiritual practice, vital service, and vocational discernment. The Theology Together process produces reflective action that is embedded in the fabric of youth ministry in all of its contexts. We believe strongly that youth are theologians and belong at the center of tough, life-changing dialogue around faith, relationships, and life. We place teenagers in the driver seat alongside their youth pastors and leaders, equipping each individual to think differently about youth ministry, to provoke a sense of awe and wonder: a WOW moment.

Theology begins when an experience prompts us to awe and wonder and creates a sense of disorientation. Whether the blinding experience of Saul on the road to Damascus or the experience of a sixth-grader encountering poverty in their city. When our experiences upend our expectations, we find ourselves in a place of awe. It’s not uncommon to name them—around the campfire, at the altar, or in celebration on the last night of a mission trip. To guide a new wave of theological reflections led by youth, we use a 5-step process known as the WOW Theological Method. The steps are:

  1. WOW! Allow young people to share their wow story.
  2. WHY? Lead young people to explain why that moment wow’d them.
  3. WHAT? Help teens consider what culture would say about that moment.
  4. GOD? Consider God’s perspective.
  5. ALIGN. Aligning with God’s perspective.

Interested in learning more? We invite you to join our community on social media where you will find resources and suggestions on how to use the Theology Together platform to enhance your church or organization’s youth ministry through the leadership of the youth themselves. We will also host forums and conversations that will aid your efforts in building long-lasting youth ministries led by youth.

For now, please enjoy this free resource to introduce your students to a thoughtful conversation about social justice and their place within it.

 

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