It’s a big question and it’s one that many young Christians really start to wrestle with as they transition out of home and into study and the workforce. One person who has done a lot of thinking about that question is Steve Garber. He has written a fascinating book entitled The Fabric of Faithfulness. In the book he discusses issues of moral meaning, integrity, consistency and connecting what we believe with how we live.
Having lectured for decades on university campuses and interacted with thousands of under-graduate and post-graduate students, Garber has identified three reasons that they become and stay faithful into their adult lives. They are:
1. Convictions – They were taught a worldview which was sufficient for the questions and crises of life, especially the ones implicit in our culture’s secularization and pluralization.
2. Character – They met at least one teacher or mentor who incarnated the worldview which they were coming to consciously identify as their own. That person passionately lived what they believed and was willing to share why and how.
3. Community – They made choices over the years to live out their worldview in the company of mutually committed folk who provided a network of stimulation and support which showed that the ideas could be coherent across the whole of life.
One organization that is trying to foster the development of these three factors in the lives of young adults is the Compass Foundation. The tag-line at Compass is “Know the Gospel; Know Culture; Translate” and at their annual summer conference approximately one hundred 18 – 30 year-olds gather together at Lifeway Campus in Snells Beach to explore those themes with a group of local and international speakers. It is a great place to explore the richness of a gospel that impacts all of life – our working, worshiping, studying, relating, imagining, lamenting, and creating in a thoughtful, open and safe forum. Many of them are profoundly shaped by the week and the ongoing connections and conversations that result.
Philosopher and theologian Jacques Ellul in his Meditation on Ecclesiastes writes: “Remember the Creator during your youth: when all possibilities lie open before you and you can offer all your strength intact for His service. The time to remember is not after you become senile and paralyzed! Then it is not too late for your salvation, but too late for you to serve as the presence of God in the midst of the world and the creation. You must take sides earlier – when you can actually make choices, when you have many paths opening at your feet, before the weight of necessity overwhelms you.”
If you know someone that you think would benefit from attending the Compass Summer Conference in January 2014, you can find out more information here.
Compass – challenges what we humans create for this world.
“Finally what was true on Sunday was true on Monday.” – watch Nico’s story about how the Compass Summer Conference changed his view of life and faith.