Modelling a theology of interruption for youth
Do you have a theology of interruption?
Systematic theology covers a lot of ground and helps us organize our chaotic thoughts about Christianity into neat and tidy columns.
Yet, we still find ourselves starved for a robust theology of interruption. Let me explain… Interruptions are an inevitable aspect of our week.
They seem to find us like heat-seeking missiles. Bad wifi. A sprained ankle. Traffic. An unanticipated phone call. A student with a need during our busiest time of day. Often, we dread interruption (especially in Western culture).
Yet, scripture is chock-full of divine and holy moments that occur during interruption. The Bible seems like a chronicle of interruptions!
Jesus is preaching and a man busts through the roof, Jesus is travelling and a beggar yells after him, a vision captures Peter while he’s praying and fasting, Paul goes blind on the road to Damascus.
You name it.
It is in these moments that it seems the veil between heaven and earth is paper-thin. It seems like the kingdom of heaven often even advances in these moments of interruption.
As a youth worker, I’m sure you are familiar with these moments. No event, game, or talk is safe from disruption!
The more we spend time in scripture, we begin to catch on to the fact that maybe there is intention behind each interruption, a plan behind the seemingly unplanned. We start to notice the massive power found in each of these moments.
To put it bluntly: interruptions are often God’s main disguise.
Once we recognize that, a few things start to take place:
1. We are curious about every interruption.
2. We start to look for God in each of these moments.
3. You start hungering for more interruption in your life and youth ministry.
My challenge to us is this:
Let our work be interrupted. Let our commute be interrupted. Let our “me” time be interrupted. Let the sermon be interrupted. One of the main ways Jesus responded to interruption was by teaching people about the kingdom of God–Living Water, the Bread of Life. Let’s model to our youth that every interruption might be an opportunity to share the gospel with a friend, family member, neighbour or stranger. Let’s model to them a gentle response and a listening ear.
Students will feel seen.
We will embrace the excitement in each day.
God’s power will pervade our ministries.