A bit taken aback, the staff of the Iowa Conference UCC was pleasantly stunned by this question, not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES. After many phone and email exchanges, we have hired for the summer three college and graduate school interns who will be doing all kinds of work and research in youth and young adult ministries, communications strategies and cross-cultural ministries.
The experience of grace didn’t end after that first question. As we have gotten oriented to one another, these talented, smart, funny and curious young adults ask lots of questions. Because they have varying degrees of connection to the United Church of Christ and to church in general, I can take nothing for granted. I can’t assume that they understand my “church speak” and the endless acronyms we tend to throw around like candy at a parade. They ask not only about the details of what we do, but ask the ever important question, “Why do you do it that way?”
Getting to know them reminds me why I love working with young people and church outsiders: They make me think about the important things. They force me to articulate why I do things. They force me to question my own motives and strategies. They force me to remember how we can sometimes alienate people with our “insider” language.
Where have you had similar “grace-full” moments? Who in your life helps keep you focused on what’s important rather than on what you’ve always done?