Bringing Healing Through Sticky Faith

Kara Powell

Last week I had the chance to share about Sticky Faith at the Orange Conference hosted by Reggie Joiner and the great team at reThink.  While I thoroughly enjoy sharing about Sticky Faith, I enjoy hearing folks’ stories almost as much.  

One youth leader came to me while I was at the Fuller booth to tell me about how Sticky Faith had brought great healing to her.  At her previous church, senior adults were highly critical of her and her husband, who was the youth pastor.  One day when she showed up a few minutes late for church (due to juggling the needs of their own family), a senior adult was standing at the front door, wagging her finger at her.  Other senior adults went out of their way to complain about her husband to everyone, including the senior pastor.  

When she and her husband left that church, she felt deeply wounded by older adults. 

Until they came to their new church. 

At their new church, seniors are at the front of the line to help out.  They are making the effort to get to know students’ names, are investing in the youth ministry, and couldn’t be more supportive of the youth ministry. 

As this youth leader told me, “Isn’t it good of God to use Sticky Faith to restore my hope in senior adults?” 

As you read this, there might be a generational grouping that you realize you have a hard time relating to.  It could be preschoolers, teenagers, college students, middle-aged adults, or senior adults.  Maybe it’s time to ask yourself a few questions:

1.Which age group is hardest for me to relate to?

2.Why is that is?  Was there something that has happened that makes me hesistant to relate to them, or is it merely lack of exposure?

3.In the spirit of Sticky Faith, what can I do this month to get to know one member of that age group?

As I walked away from the youth leader at Orange, I was so encouraged by the way Sticky Faith isn’t just about transforming young people – it’s about transforming us as adults too.


Published May 07, 2012
Kara Powell

Kara Powell, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. As a youth ministry veteran of over 20 years, she serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties. Named by Christianity Today as one of "50 Women You Should Know", Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including Sticky Faith, Essential Leadership, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum.

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