The Problem With Young, Flower-Wearing, Feminist Youth Directors

…and everyone else.

Today I read the post that criticized preachers (especially young preachers, the blog reiterates) for using lectio divina as part of their sermon preparation, arguing that it was taking a subjective approach rather than an objective approach.

Completely separate from the messiness of negating the Spirit’s role in preaching, and limiting access to The Word and all kind of other things this argument can spiral into….this really gets to me.

Because this says young preachers are all about their own feelings when they preach, and that type of sharing is not valuable.

This bothers me because I’m tired of “young preachers” or “young people” being convicted of pushing the church down dangerous slippery slopes (especially when ministry is one field where many of the people who are new or inexperienced are not young, but are second[or 3rd or 4th]-career).

Because I’m tired of glorifying the hyper-masculine expectations on people in ministry to match a successful US politician, or successful businessman–expectations that say I should have a voice that sounds like I could have been a founding father, a body that looks like I could have fought in a war, and I should match only the well-off, middle-aged, established, white parts of the church I serve. (And that since none of these things fit me, I should be satisfied with being adorable and funny.)

Because the Church should be the place where I don’t get written off for “having a chip on my shoulder.” Where it matters that I read the Greek to see what’s going on. Where I’m not shut up before I respond by being lumped into the “young preacher” problem.

The real young preacher problem is the same as the old preacher problem (or the blogger problem.) It’s that we figure that we’ve got it figured out and we’ve stopped listening to the experience of people that have come before us, people that are coming after us, and the people we missed because we didn’t make space for their voices at the very start.