The Time Behind Sticky Faith

Cody Ray Charland | Sep 2, 2011

In their book Resident Aliens, Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon discuss the issue of youth Confirmation within their tradition.

Realizing that youth are pouring out of their church at an alarming rate, they examine the yearly process. It’s decided that assigning mentors to the students in the Confirmation process is part of the solution. Hauerwas and Willimon conclude the story by saying, “The church needs to see that one of its greatest resources is its ability to bring generations of disciples together.”

I can’t help but recognize Sticky Faith in other books I read for Fuller. As this book was written in the late 1980’s, it’s interesting to see the problem that Sticky Faith addresses has been around for much longer than I realized… Longer than a lot of youth workers have been alive!

So much of Sticky Faith is the result of decades of action, inaction, and the separation of adults and youth. Because of this, it will take even longer to change the direction and culture of ministry. Since many youth workers are under 30, there’s one aspect we can’t forget when cultivating Sticky Faith:

We need patience.

And as I eat a lot of my meals cooked in the microwave, download music instantly, and talk to my friends and family thousands of miles away without delay, I have to realize that Sticky Faith is different. It will simply take time to see in my students, church, and most importantly… in myself.

Cody Ray Charland

Cody Ray Charland is a second year MATM student at Fuller’s Pasadena campus. He holds a BA in Physical Education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. As Project Assistant with the Fuller Youth Institute, he handles social media, and helps with writing, technology, and research. He was formerly a Young Life leader as well as Youth Pastor at Port City Community Church in Wilmington, NC. Cody enjoys the outdoors, all things Tar Heel, and barbecue.


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