So, I’m attending this progressive youth ministry conference and for the most part it’s pretty awesome. But, then, there is part of me that wonders about the types of voices being given space to be heard, and, of those not given space. Most of the presenters are men. Most are heterosexual. Most are middle to upper-middle class. Most are white. Most are reformed. Most have ties with an evangelical or fundamentalist background. It’s very much an insider’s club of assumptions and connections.

Even beyond that, most everything we’ve talked about has been “sAfe.” Nothing too controversial, nothing too radical, nothing to really shake us up or challenge the way those of us who have been progressive for awhile really do things. Perhaps it is radical for those from a more conservative background, but for more seasoned progressives, it’s all pretty much normative.

As an optimist, I’ll make the best of it, and it really has been fun. Certainly better than any other youth ministry conference I’ve been to.
But it honestly has me wondering…am I really that radical? I never thought of myself as radical. But everything here seems so lukewarm that I’m wondering what’s up.

What does “progressive” mean to you? What is normative and what is radical?