As we continue our FPCH Workshop series, we are approaching our next event on April 1, from 11:30 am – 4:00 pm in Middle Terrace called “Realigned Affection”, a conversation on faith and Mental Health. Blake and our incredible FPCH worship band will open the event, and myself and Jon Fitz, Youth Director at Reality LA, will be speaking. Each teaching will be followed by a break-out session, as we close the workshop with an open panel / Q&A. If you will be joining us, please RSVP with Richard Gomez (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Synopsis for the workshop: Through our FPCH workshop series, we are seeking to engage the most prominent cultural narratives that are pressed upon our young people that stifle their confidence in Christ and suppress the joy of the Holy Spirit in their daily lives. The aim of this workshop is to gain back ground on the narratives the secular-culture deceitfully believes belong to them (ground the local church has seceded to the secular-culture a long time ago), that rightfully belongs to the word of God, as we engage these narratives from a Christian perspective in light of the authority of Christ, we simultaneously seek to strip cultural influencers of their sway over the identities of our beloved young Christians.
Themes for the workshop:
OUR RADICAL DESIRE FOR AFFECTION:
The modern young person is very honest and introspective about their radical need to be embraced, accepted, and loved in the midst of their own flaws. This is a prominent cultural narrative and is common ground for the church, enabling us to show Jesus meets their radical desire for affection better, freeing them from the constrictive need to justify themselves and earn their self-worth, perpetually leaving them relationally and emotionally defensive
THE MISALIGNMENT OF OUR AFFECTION:
Many young people within our culture seek counseling and different sorts of therapy because they are convinced, and rightfully so, that their affections are not aligned the way they believe they must be. This is common ground for the church, as we patiently and yet deliberately demonstrate that acknowledging sin is not a repressive act that stifles individuality and suppresses autonomy (as is assumed by many young people), but an act of trust in the Father’s grace and love, that proves nothing is expected of us but intentional transparency and vulnerability; every expectation for relationship with the Father was carried by Jesus himself to the cross, and never required of us. This confidence and security allow us to teach our young people the importance of repentance as an act of worship and how to therefore acknowledge our profound desire for restoration in hope, not in despair
AN AUTHORITY WE CAN TRUST TO REALIGN OUR MISALIGNED AFFECTION:
Even though a prominent cultural doctrine is finding authority by appealing to what ‘I feel’ inside, nonetheless, the modern young person still seeks out a community and an authoritative figure, who proclaims a culturally accepted doctrine that can help guide them through the realignment of their misaligned affections. This allows modern young people to establish a sacramental framework and secular filter that allows them to receive public validation and recognition for what they are feeling inside. Even though it is relevant to say, ‘no one else needs to justify what I feel,’ this is never actually the case. We all, no matter what we feel or what we believe, need a community that welcomes us in, and someone perceived as greater and more trustworthy than us who validates us as authentic, publicly. This is common ground for the church, as we teach our young people that what their hearts truly need and desperately long for, is the redemption that only Christ can provide, and the eternal recognition of the only one that matters, our Father.
It is believed that these narratives within our culture prove that the modern young person is no longer seeking God, but from my perspective, I believe the prominence of these cultural doctrines prove otherwise; the modern young person can try to do away with God, but the modern young person cannot do away with the deep yearnings for religious devotion to something, or someone, we will inevitably treat as a god. As we tackle the topic of mental health, we prayerfully ask that the Holy Spirit realign the affections of our young people, anchoring them in the restorative power of Jesus Christ, our beloved Messiah.