Claiborne is the typical youth group kid I worked with for 15 years. (He’s a just turned thirty-something who grew up in a UMC youth group in Eastern Tennessee.) He’s the popular, small town boy from the entertainment-oriented youth group. The problem is that he’s also smart, into Jesus and full of the Holy Spirit. Somewhere between that small town youth group (with it’s usual menu of activities seasoned with a “mission trip” here and there) and graduation from Eastern College in Philly, Claiborne became a bonafide dangerous fanatic. He got politicized, activiated, and most important, radically immersed in the reality of the Kingdom of God.
Claiborne became a Jesus follower with the daring to follow Jesus, do stuff Jesus would do, take risks, side with the poor, get public, give simple answers, turn down the usual evangelical pablum and avoid excuses. He stopped believing everything the evangelical media said. He started thinking for himself, scaring his family, going where he wasn’t really supposed to go and doing things that went well beyond that two week mission trip.
I can’t wait. I’m scared.