Another friend asked a question "Did the missionary have any ideas or plans?" (If you haven't read parts one and two of this series, scroll down and get caught up.) My honest answer to that question is I don't know for sure. I was so caught up in what he had said about life in Guatemala and my own thoughts that I stopped listening fully. (This happens a lot more than I would really like you to know.)
What I did catch was that part of their response to getting making Jesus real was to be in relationship with the "bad" young adults. They created a place where the "bad" young adults were welcome and respected. They then introduced Jesus through being in relationship with the young adults. One part that caught my attention was that the missionary family had first hand experience with being on the outside in the community in which they are serving...they too were looked down upon because they didn't buy into the traditional ideas of the church.
As I went through my years in Youth Ministry, I was aware that I couldn't invest in the life of each youth member as deeply as I wanted. I could only seriously invest in a few at a time. It felt awful (still does). In a perfect world I would go back and make sure that each youth member was paired up with another adult who could invest in them and help them along the road of faith and life. Each youth member. Because that's the way that I've seen faith take root in the lives of youth. Not because of the awesome talks on Wednesday nights or the music on Sunday mornings but because of interpersonal relationships.
I wonder if our focus on worship services as being the king-pin of our faith isn't a little wrong. I wonder if instead of putting such a focus on corporate worship we should instead focus on home groups, small groups or community groups (whatever you want to call them). Should we insist on corporate worship because that is what church is or should we insist on meaningful relationships with other believers in a small group so that growing and learning happens? I know there are downfalls to both ways. I'm just wondering.