Pat Little went through Theodyssey when he was 23. Now, as a 33-year-old, and the Creative Arts and Community Outreach Director at Covenant Church in San Diego, he wants others to get connected. As he watches his friends, and the younger generation at large, struggle with their faith, he is convinced that Theodyssey is part of the solution. We asked him to share his heart. Enjoy!
I believe the next generation is longing for something that is predominately missing within the Church today. And Theodyssey, offering authentic, Christian spiritual formation, is stepping into that gap.
Many in my generation have seen a Church that is untransformed, uninspired, and disintegrated—concerned with right belief apart from the kind of person we become. As a result, they are leaving the Church in droves. Many want to stay but feel the Church has failed them by offering little help in the way of cultivating a life with God marked by encounter and transformation. They are longing to be part of a dynamic community of active love, responsive and attentive to the living Christ who has desires not only for us but the world around us. A community that is relevant in the truest sense – whose presence in the world is an active source of love, justice, and healing.
Many Christians I know are increasingly moving in two directions—either doubling down on doctrinal affirmation as the be-all-end-all of the spiritual life, or discarding “belief” and “doctrine” altogether in favor of wherever personal spiritual experience might lead. Instead, the Church needs a vision for following Jesus that involves both a robust intellectual understanding and real personal encounter.
Theodyssey takes us back to the Scriptures and helps us see them afresh—as not only vital to our knowledge of who God is, who we are, and the life we are meant to live, but also as a means of connection with God where we can hear His voice and discover the possibility for transformation through Jesus. It is a vision for the spiritual life that the Church desperately needs, in this cultural moment, if it will have anything of substance to offer the next generation of those wanting to follow Jesus.
Unique to the Theodyssey experience is the opportunity for every person to be a tangible conduit for the work of the Holy Spirit—the breaking in of the healing presence and grace of Christ in the lives of those we have committed to for a season. It is not uncommon to be sitting together in a living room and suddenly find yourself in the midst of a holy moment, one that has catalytic implications for someone’s life. Such moments mark our journey and change us in a deep way. When we show up in our messiness and confusion, the Spirit uses these environments to shape and change our view of God, which also has implications for how we view ourselves as His beloved. Real and sacred stuff! From all my years of growing up in the church, and now being a pastor, I have yet to experience a communal environment like it in any other context.
Theodyssey offers the tools and context to encounter Jesus in ways that form the core of who we are and encourages a real, active relationship with the Jesus who speaks to us, inviting us into the hopes and dreams He has for our lives, as well as the lives of those around us. Theodyssey invites us to a deeper experience of the spiritual life while remaining grounded in Scripture, which is foundational to our knowledge of God.
I believe in Theodyssey and its unique and vital role for the next generation of Christ-followers.