Yesterday and today I have been in the Bible/Religion classes for first and second year students at Vejlefjordskolen, a Christian high school run by the Adventist Church in Denmark. My friend Niels teaches these classes, and he invited me to tell about Aarhus Café Church. They have been studying church planting, and to add perspective I was to share real-life experiences about starting a new church.
This has been an interesting task – not especially difficult, because it’s been a big part of my life for the past 7 years, and telling the story is just recounting what has happened. But reflecting a bit more on possible mistakes and ideas for the future has also been a fun challenge.
I hope the students had a good experience, of course. But it has also been an interesting one for me. Especially today with the second years I had a good time listening to their questions and trying to provide insightful answers. What struck me especially was a possible insight into the minds of young people of this age.
Adolescence is a time of starting to make up your own mind and considering alternative world views. It is a time of trial and error, of idealism, sometimes of naïveté, and of asking questions but also believing you have a lot of answers made out. It is a time where you slowly discover that perhaps your parents weren’t right about everything; at first you may protest them by doing the exact opposite of what they believe, but over time most of us end up respecting their beliefs and forming our own not all that far from theirs, but still distinctly our own.
Asking questions is healthy. And when it comes to church I hope that all generations will ask questions and have ideals. But equally, we ought to mature into not letting everything be a matter of our elders’ views or the exact opposite. They were right about a lot of things – and wrong about quite a few, too. As we all are. Nothing is either black or white.