Imagine a teenager who has the ability and desire to seek God’s story in all aspects of life. They find God in the music they listen to, even when it isn’t “Christian” music. They find God in their reading assignments from school. They find God in the movie they just saw on Netflix. Everywhere they turn they realize God’s story is in all stories and they’ve been given the ability to see that. That is the goal of our Faith in 3D Sunday School class. That class and those goals all center on the interpretive approach to youth ministry.
Every day in life we interpret the world around us. That is bad, that is good, this is OK to do and that is not. Three people could read the same passage of scripture, watch the same movie, or read the same book and come to a different conclusion of what it means for their life and the world around them. The driving force behind the interpretive approach to youth ministry is to get teenagers to practice and begin to see the world through the lens of faith. There is no imparting of information, rather engaging stories of God and culture and asking questions that allow them to explore and seek God’s story in the midst of those.
The very end goal in all of this is for our youth to see their story in God’s story. We desire them to understand that they play a role in God’s redeeming work in the world. They see their lives through the lens of Christ and live differently because of it. What does it mean to see life through this lens? It means seeing love, joy, peace, grace, and hope in all places, all things, and all people. It means learning to see light in the darkness and spotting God in both the obvious and unexpected places. It means being able to see your life as having a purpose and role to play in God’s story of redemption of all of creation. When youth see their lives through the lens of Christ they truly go out to be God’s people in the world!