Podcast Season 4

Episode #6: Rachel Gardner

To be human is to search after a home. For Rachel Gardner, this is found in community.

As well as an author, speaker, and activist, Rachel is the youth resourcing lead at an intergenerational church plant in Blackburn. With a background in youth work, Rachel is passionate about young people finding their voice – and redeeming relationships.

In this episode, Jo, Peter and Rachel focus on the ‘connection’ aspect of being human. They ask: how have things changed for young people? What impact has the online world had on ideas around love and safety? And what opportunities can the church look out for to redeem young people’s understanding of Jesus?

Deep connection has always required self-sacrifice, but in today’s culture love is expressed as a self-first love. However, one of Christianity’s most captivating offers to humanity is a genuine offer of belonging: that all of us can be one family in Christ.

Interested in finding out more about Rachel? Follow her on Twitter @RachelGardnerRA
 or read one of her latest books The Sex Thing and The Girl De-Construction Project.

Part one (00:00)
00:49 – Meet Rachel: stories of finding home in community and finding family through adoption.
04:17 – How has the nature of connection to one another changed? Each generation is extraordinarily bold and innovative in finding connection. Today we see this innovation through the ideas of expressive individualism and a new heroic narrative.
08:30 – Instagram and the online world prevent young people from being able to work out who they are in the fullness of a kind and up-close community.
11:00 – A poor understanding of safety, combined with a poor understanding of connection, is a toxic combination, particularly for young women and girls.

Part two (14:15)
14:20 – The compelling nature of a narrative of “God loves you” is so warmly appreciated, but the closer that love comes, the more suspicious many people become. What are the challenges of communicating the gospel today?
19:09 – The remedy to these challenges – finding the stories of sacrificial love in our culture today.
21:00 – If we are part of communities that are discipled as much by secularism as by Christianity, how do we begin a conversation about redeeming the idea of desire?
24:30 – God’s invitation – told throughout the God story – is for us to come close and be known. When we are drawn to God’s holiness, we learn that He can cope with our desires and fears.
28:30 – As parents, church members and leaders, we must be incarnate communities in order to welcome and embrace young people.

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