Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jesus at Shoney's, Week 1

This morning was our first meeting of Jesus at Shoney's...actually it was our second but last week was just intro and grits. At 6:45 am we gathered at Shoney's, ate grease and discussed the first chapter of Vintage Jesus which I discussed here. There were a number things that needed to happen (humnaly speaking) for this to go well.

First, they had to actually read the first chapter. Getting teenagers to read is like getting Presbyterians to sing songs written in the past hundred years. It happens but is rare.

Second, they had to show up. After all we meet at 6:45 am. AM...the juxtapostion of those two letters is the beginning of many nightmarish scenarios for the average teen.

Third, they needed to like it or the first two might not happen again. The only thing most of my youth are used to reading by choice is gaming magazines, menus and their wall on facebook. I do have some who read but they are no where near the majority.

Fourth, for this to work they had to enjoy the book. It is nearly impossible to discuss anything at 7 am. A boring book would kill Jesus at Shoney's real quick.

Fifth, they needed to come ready to discuss and not just listen to me talk and pry. Since it is after all a book discussion.

By God's grace all of this happened. I had high hopes for Jesus at Shoney's and the first week has not disappointed. One reason is the readability and shocking nature of the book. Most books written for young people are terrible. They are shallow, boring, cheesy, condescending or just plain goofy. This is none of that. It is deep while understandable. Witty and serious. Sarcastic while still respecting the questions of those who have not bought into Jesus. All in all it is a fresh wind blowing through Christology without bringing anything new into the room.

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