Incedo has roots in the global movement of Youth for Christ. However, those roots have been well chopped. As of 2012, Incedo was formerly de-chartered from the YFCI movement. Before and after 2012 we had been sailing in the winds of no return in unchartered cultural waters and had no resolve to return to the programming, consumer emphasis of YFC in the 80’s.
To their credit, the leadership of YFC NZ in the 90’s and early 2000s faced up to the glaring not working-isms of trying to propagate the faith foundations of the 1950s to a culture proud of its cynicism and detachment. Our leaders were not in denial. They saw change as the only solution. They read a library of literature on theology and culture and toured the world in search for a model that could be the best platform to sustain a new movement in New Zealand. And they weren’t looking for a program or a preacher.
Incedo became small in numbers but not in vision, lost a load of $ support and not everyone thought we were on to a good thing. Which is fine. We don’t have all the answers. But we were brave enough to create a space where followers and potential followers of Christ could ask tough questions and live the life of abundance and faith and doubt in the search for authentic doing and being. The overarching mantra was primarily to forge a community that others could view and hopefully be part of something dynamic.
Since the arrival of Incedo things have changed. I witnessed non-kingdom-fuelling assets like buildings being sold (controversial) and assets like idle vehicles and pa systems being generously transferred to places of need. Leadership moved from the charismatic figurehead to a revolving small group. Local boards dismantled (controversial), a licence to experiment encouraged, a liberating set of values guiding our being and guiding our doing. Membership is available for those wanting to be part of it and there is constant opportunity for spiritual formation. I’ve seen service, as a vehicle of young people engagement, work…. and subvert the ME addicted worldview of culture. ‘A Different Conversation’ is a weekend forum of speakers and listeners engaging issues of sexuality testament to our willingness to engage the tough issues. A bed and breakfast villa experiment in social enterprise hiring staff members who would normally be marginalized is another glimpse into Incedo’s maturity as a collective mission order – the idea of connecting a dispersed community a reality. We’re not there yet… our school report is a definite ‘shows promise’.
The future. It might all turn to custard. But it’s a great ride so far. Those who can’t remember Capital Teen Convention, zap chairs, or monthly altar calls are none the wiser. Those who recall the good times, remember them nostalgically and that’s fine… but we tend to glorify the past when the future dries up. As for Incedo, the name means ‘advance’. It’s a strange word, for an even stranger time, but we’re walking forward with lots of faith, hope, and big-heartedness.
YFC/ Incedo Field Worker