This was my article for the newsletter this week:
I want to use this space today to ask for something of grave importance. Actually the results and consequences of what I’m asking for reach far beyond the grave. Here’s what I’m asking you to do… I’m asking you to make the effort to get to know one student well enough to pray for them. Not some generic “God bless Junior…” type of prayer. You need to really know the student. And that will take time. It will take investment of your self into their life. And it will send ripples through the waters of eternity.
Students across America are walking away from what they see as a church that has nothing to do with real life. Many churches have set themselves up as little bubbles that float around, visible to the world but never really making contact. We at WestWay are called to be more than just visible. The Body of Christ is in the world today to show God’s love to the world (just like Jesus did). We’re not going to do that by simply turning the lights on and saying “Here we are, look how well we do church.”
Students don’t care how well we ‘do church’ (I suspect that neither do most other people outside of the church for that matter) – they don’t want to ‘do church’. They want to be known. They want to know their Maker. They want a reason to live. And they can find all of that through you if you’re willing to care for them.
Get to know one student. Talk with them. Talk with their parents about what’s going on in their family. Love them. Pray for them. Prove to them that they are worth the attention of the Creator of the Universe.
I still feel that there is much work to be done in building bridges between generations. I am completely on board with ministry that specializes in working with specific ages – but something is wrong when there are near zero opportunities in the church for generations to interact. I don’t think it’s primarily a programming issue, though. I don’t think the solution is to just come up with artificial opportunities for young and old to rub elbows – though that could be a good step as well.
I think it’s a matter of the heart. Is it just that we are so easily sucked into our own lives… have we become blind to anything outside our own gravitational pull? …unwilling to sacrifice for the sake of someone ‘different’? I’m still not sure if we’re being distracted or just plain selfish.