The power of ‘If’

Questions beginning with If are great on detached, when you have the chance to get beyond the banter, but get to an ‘If’ question, and all of a sudden the young adult, or even if we’re asked it, we, need to stop and change gear. Our minds, thus far full of process thoughts and next steps in conversation, are transported to a world of ideas, of community gathering and exploration.

The power of the ‘If’ – it transcends the present into a realisation of a future- so – here are 10 If questions that ive either been asked by young people, or have asked young people on detached. Most of them have had pretty amazing results.

  1. If you could belong to any religion which one would it be?
  2. If you could change something about this community what would it be?
  3. If you left the person alone, instead of reacting, what might happen?
  4. If you could chose a perfect partner what qualities would they have?
  5. If you imagined 10 years into the future, what would make you happy?
  6. If no young people were here, would you still walk around?
  7. If I was boring you would you leave?
  8. If you could live anywhere where would it be?
  9. If you could be an animal for a day or a night what would it be?
  10. If you had a £1m what would you do with it?

The If, is a choice question, an ideas question, a proposition for thought.

Apologies for the shift from Detached youthwork to the world of 1st Century Galilee, but over the last few weeks i have been re-reading Matthews Gospel, primarily as im preaching on a part of it in a few weeks time. But I was struck by the ‘If’ questions of Jesus to the people around him.

For example;

“If you love only those who love you – what reward is that?”  – Chapter 5 verse 46

“If God cares so wonderfully for the flowers …he will certainly care for you – why do you have so little faith?” 6:30

“if you had a sheep that fell into a well on the sabbath would you work to pull it out?” 12:11

“If i am empowered by Satan, what about your own excorcists?”  12:27

then there are three big statements

“if you want to be my follower…. if you want to hang on to your life….. if you give up your life for my sake” Chapter 16)

They’re not questions, they’re propositions, they’re suggestions. They require faith to participate in making that choice. Its not an enforced moment, but choice. If you want to find out what Jesus requires if you want to be a follower, hang onto your life or what would happen if you give your life, then you’ll have to read it yourself.

The power of the If questions, to make us stop and imagine. give young people chance to discuss opinions, values and attitudes, and challenge ours as well.



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