Author and theologian Richard Rohr describes liminal space as:
“…where we are betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown. There alone is our old world left behind, while we are not yet sure of the new existence. That’s a good space where genuine newness can begin. Get there often and stay as long as you can by whatever means possible… This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy. The threshold is God’s waiting room. Here we are taught openness and patience as we come to expect an appointment with the divine Doctor.”
It is common practice to apply a huge amount of time and energy towards an activity, such as a camp, Friday evening youth or S.C.A. This is where there is real opportunity for change and often, real evidence of God at work. It is an obvious liminal space as we encourage people to be open to God during the time.
However, growing a young person towards maturity in their faith requires something more. More energy and time towards another liminal space. One beyond the activity, to the quiet space where the individual regularly sets aside alone time with Jesus. You say devotional time, I say liminal space.
Even though quiet times carry the risk of legalism and an incorrect gauge of our relationship with God, potentially serving as nothing more than a guilt barometer, they are also the place where God can bring about lasting change in the life of a young person. The picture of a young person making a self-motivated regular choice to encounter Jesus through the Bible in their day, is the beginnings of maturity.
Check out some of our new SU resources geared towards this liminal space: https://su.org.za/bible-reading-notes/