Dangerous Wonder, Michael Yaconelli

Last night I blasted through Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli in preparation for Sunday’s worship gatherings. You need to get this book into your hands.

Yaconelli is one of the most influential people in my life. His views on life and following Christ and youth ministry helped to form me and build me into the (hopefully) dangerous youth pastor that I am today. He passed away before I ever met him in an auto accident around the Oregon/California border. He might be the only person who I never met whose death brought tears to my eyes.

He was an excellent man and his influence lives on. You can visit his online memorial, hosted by Youth Specialties.

In the tradition of the reOrientation, here are some memorable and influential quotes from the book.

“I want a lifetime of holy moments. Every day I want to be in dangerous proximity to Jesus. I long for a life that explodes with meaning andis filled with adventure, wonder, risk and danger. I long for a faith that is gloriously treacherous. I want to be with Jesus, not knowing whether to laugh or to cry.”“…children’s questions are more than a request for information. Their questions are an act of affection, of communion, and of trusting.”

“The trouble with children is they believe you.”

“…in the process of socializing our children to follow the rules, do we rob them of the discernment needed to know when to follow rules and when to break them?”

And finally, quoting Will Willimon,

Just when I get my church all sorted out,
sheep from the goats, saved from the damned,
hopeless from the hopeful, somebody makes a move,
gets out of focus, cuts loose, and I see why
Jesus never wrote systematic theology.
So you and I can give thanks that the locus of
Christian thinking appears to be shifting from
North America and northern Europe
where people write rules and obey them,
to places like Africa and Latin Americawhere people still know how to dance.

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