The Spirit of God…and Youth?

Spirit Guided Youth…

This was a topic I was asked to present on at an upcoming church event.

Youth & The Holy Spirit…

Interesting. It has been fun to dig into it!

Currently I’m looking at who and what the Holy Spirit is. The action it takes in our lives and especially the lives of our youth. In the Lutheran Church we have an understanding of the Spirit being present at Baptism, we are “Sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the Cross of Christ forever.”

But, I’m also starting to think and question the Spirit being in everyone, whether or not they believe in God.  The Creation story tells us that God breathed life into human and with that we came alive. (Something really fascinating to me is the ideas that Rob Bell looks at in NOOMA- Breathe- 014) This has stretched my understanding of how the Spirit works and in what ways we participate in the Spirit’s work. Our youth are some of the most creative and energetic people on the planet and yet where is the Spirit moving in their lives, is something I still have to explore!

I’m going back to my thesis writing from seminary and tackling this from a practical theology point of view using the descriptive, interpretive, normative and strategic lenses. This process is helpful and intriguing to me as I think more about the youth in my own ministry and where the Spirit is at work.

Some questions I’ve been asking myself as all of these thoughts work through my mind:
-Are we equipping youth to think about the Spirit’s work outside of the church? If so, what does it look like?
-How do we name and claim the Gifts of the Spirit in the lives of youth?
-What Gifts of the Spirit are already evident in the surroundings of our youth on a daily basis and we’re missing the opportunity to name and claim them? Especially if they are “claimed, sealed, connected and sent” through their baptism?

I think there is a great opportunity to help youth and families name the beauty and gifts of where they are, with whatever they are involved in, and with the people they are surrounded by!

The Spirit does not fit into a box, cannot be contained in a building with four walls.

The Spirit is active and active in the lives of everyone around us, may we try to name this gift in our own lives as well as the lives of those around us!

How do you see the Spirit active in those around you? What does it mean that everyone has the Spirit of God within them, something that just is?