Book Review: Cradle to Cradle

I finished Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things last night, and I must admit that I liked the book.  This is an environmental book that essentially says “Everything we are doing is wrong!”  Although I may not agree with this, the book piqued my interests, so I read it.  Here is an excerpt from my Library Thing review:

The most notable feature of Cradle to Cradle is the book itself. It is not paper, cardboard or newsprint, but rather made entirely of plastic. This provides the reader with a completely waterproof and very durable book which is then fully recyclable when finished. The physical book is an example of what the book teaches: we need to reevaluate and revolutionize current products.
While the book did not make me trade in my jeans for Organically grown, no artificial dye cotton pants, or condemn anyone that eats anything that was once living, or permanently dwell in the upper canopy of a redwood tree, I did think some principles are applicable to youth ministry.  Most notable, there are times when we need to completely rework how we show the love of Christ to students.  A student’s culture is like Jello, shifting and changing every second.  We cannot keep ministering to them with the same methods developed in the 60s.  It was good enough for you then, but to your students, it is not. 
In ministry, we must be willing to completely redevelop our programs if needed. Sure, it will take time, energy, and possibly a learning curve.  You will hear complaints: “This isn’t how we used to do it” or “The old youth pastor never did this.”  However, your job is not to keep the status quo.  Your job (and calling) is to reach lost students with the love of Jesus, and to grow your students into young adults who are competent and devout in their faith. 
This means we need to embrace social media sites (Facebook, YouTube, MySpace), work on new ways of communicating with them (IM, texting, Twitter, and rarely email), and develop creative presentation methods that fit their 10 second attention span (remember: your students do not know of a time before the Internet, cell phones, and On Demand).  Don’t let a “sacred cow” (like Sunday School or the 100th annual retreat) get in the way of your ministry to your students.  Be willing to redevelop your programs for your students’ sake.  While all else may change, two things remain the same: the love of Jesus Christ, and your students’ need for Him.

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