Skye Jethani: Inoculating a Generation

Skye is a journalist working for Leadership Journal, a publication of Christianity Today. In some ways, he tried to address some of the concerns raised by David Kinnamon the day before: How do we retain younger people in the church? Skye suggested that the church’s main problem is that “most” people come into Christianity with a longing for transcendence. When they enter the church they received something that is much more human and controlled. Searching for transcendence, they find instructions, rules and principles. Even with the best of intentions, many Christian organizations call people into “mission” and activity.

There are some, he argues, that endure long enough that they begin to see God emerge from the shadows of control. The talk was interesting, but I was not sure where he was going until the very end. He, of course, did not want to express that rules, principles and mission trips were wrong. What he wanted the group to hear was that such activity should be the result of a genuine transcendent relationship with Christ rather than isolated activities that may gain God’s favor. “We are called to someone.”

I have found it hard to exist with “mystery,” as Skye refers to it. The rules, the principles and the mission trips all give us some sense that I am on the right track. Deep inside I understand that my life’s task is to know God and make him known. That is not always a comforting thought, as striving seems to be much more fulfilling. In reality, though, I know it is a dead end. As he talked, I was reminded of one line in one of my grandfather’s favorite hymns, “What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms . . . ” God is the end and we are only safe when we are resting in the arms of God.

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