I have been deeply challenged concerning the language I have used in telling the gospel to jr high students. Jesus doesn’t change. He never has. My view of who Jesus really is and what he actually said went through one of those healthy realignment phases. We all need those sometimes. I am weary of anone who says that their view of Jesus hasn’t ever changed. It has been a good process beginning with Scott McKnight’s book, Embracing Grace and culminating this week at one of my favorite annual events, the jr high summit. Iron sharpens Iron. I have experienced iron sharpening conversations over the past three years hanging with some of the sharpest minds in jr high youth ministry at this event. I had to learn some new words rather quickly this week to follow our guest speaker . . . don’t worry I am ok! All of this is quite timely. I have been “living” with the theme, Jesus, in anticipation for next year’s Believe tour. Jesus came to “make all things new”. We are truly dead in our sins; but we receive all of Christ’s righteousness through his completed work on the cross. I feel we have communicated this concept of penal substation time and again to our students. This is part of the Gospel; but the more I look at the ministry of Jesus I also see healing in other areas. I see healing, from within ourselves, to others, the world as well as between us and God. The community we live in with Christ should restore more than just our relationship with God. This power should be evident in many other areas we fail to give appropriate emphasis on. Are we “aborting” a bigger gospel when we neglect these other relationships God wants to restore? I think a larger gospel can and should be presented to jr high students. I see this central in the language Jesus himself used. In our efforts to measure spirituality have we have focused on faith pathway markers to much? Have these markers done more to cloud some of Jesus’ central themes he called us to be about such as “establishing his kingdom on earth or loving God and people”?