I am linking a short video I made for a class about what kind of spiritual community I would like to "design." Let me know what you think in the comments below.
This video project is inspired by my experience as one who grew up in Late Jesus Movement, Early Third Wave Charismatic churches. After reconnecting with many of my childhood friends via social media, I recognized a pattern of spiritual abuse in which many young people were told they were leaders and that they should participate in a ministry internship program that charged in excess of two thousand dollars a year in tuition and that required them to take introductory bible and theology classes while also requiring interns to volunteer for all services along with an additional twenty hours a week. Out of the hundreds of interns I know, there are only sixteen that became formal, paid pastoral leaders. Of those, five are related to prominent pastors who the church could not afford to ignore. Most threw their Christian beliefs in the garbage like a used single-use cup mirroring the way the church treated them after they completed their internships. They had served their purpose as free labor and were then thrown away as irrelevant relics. Beyond the ministry internship scene was the underground Christian music scene. Most of the kids and young adults in the scene felt equally disengaged from the church because their expression of Christian faith and art in the form of punk rock, spirit-filled hardcore, and avant-garde music was treated as an evangelistic teaser at Friday night youth events.
These two groups are at the forefront of the Evangelical deconstruction movement. People like Dave Bazan, Rachel Held Evans, Jonathan Martin, Tripp Fuller, Jen Hatmaker, and Lisa and Michael Gungor give space to our questionable faith to exist whether that means inside or outside of Christianity. This video is an homage to people that hurt because they were spiritually abused to further an agenda in the name of the Gospel. It asks the question, “What if we listened to the voice of the Spirit like Elijah instead of looked for his signs.” This matches my ministry context which seeks to be not just post-Evangelical, but post-everything. It is a place where we physically and digitally gather in small groups to worship God, ask questions, and be healed by the truth of the Spirit.