God is my Director

Youth ministry, movies, no drugs and a variable amount of Rock ‘n Roll

Danielle Strickland comes dancing

Posted by Martin on November 20, 2006

Danielle StricklandHave you ever come across Danielle Strickland? She’s a Canadian Salvation Army church-planter/missional thinker/ general genius who happens to be one of the best and most original speakers I’ve heard. She closed the incomparably excellent Youthwork Conference (Eastbourne) yesterday with a talk which appeared for so long to be going absolutely nowhere – and which then snapped into focus like one of those post-mortem injuries from CSI.

Danielle, like Jill Rowe last weekend, was speaking on the parable of the lost sheep under the header ‘One Life at a Time’, and told a clutch of stories from her own experience of working with individuals. Her challenge in mission to simply ‘look out for what’s right in front of you’ both echoed Rob Bell’s earlier instruction to ‘notice what God is doing all around you’, and jarred with 21st century Christianity’s usual approach of purpose driven strategy. I think they were all trying to make the same point: the Kingdom of God is near when we as Christians are near, because Jesus lives in us. So it’s up to us to reflect the kingdom to the people around us – one life at a time.

The old lady in Eastbourne passed by me (see post below) and I didn’t stop to talk. In all of our days, there are people who pass right in front of us, but we ignore their cries because they don’t fit in with our particular vision statement – I’m called to work with young people you see – she was about 70, so I let her go.

Maybe God doesn’t see it that way. I shall continue to think about the old lady in Eastbourne until I work it all out.

Anyhow, the conference was amazing in so many ways. I want to share something that happened in one of my seminars (well two things actually), but I haven’t got my head around it all yet. Oh and amusingly, have been asked to co-lead an ’emerging’ youth congregation. Which is only funny because I spend so much of my life slating the emergent movement. Ho hum, God has a sense of humour…


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