Today I have two things on my mind as I write this article for the summer Hinge. The first is a challenge that comes to us from James 1:9. “Everyone should be quick to listen…” Most would agree that we want more young adults and young families in church. Some have ideas or thoughts about what would make them want to come. Others have no clue. There are no easy answers. We are talking about a generation of people who have grown up in a different culture than many of us. Technological changes in just the past ten years have been astronomical. Many of these young adults have never been in church. I believe most are looking for something more in their lives and that Jesus is the answer. But how can we share Christ with people in these emerging generations in a way that will reach them? Here’s my challenge to you for this summer. Make a conscious effort to take time to listen to a young adult or young parent — maybe it’s a grandchild, a neighbor, your physical therapist, whomever you encounter on a regular basis. Ask them what they think about God, about Jesus, about the Church. Find out how they think the church could better serve them or the community. Remember, we are listening, not defending. Write down what you learn and give it to me. Let’s see what we can learn from them.
The other thing I’ve been thinking is that one of the reasons most of us are reluctant to share our faith with others is because we don’t often think about how God is involved in our day-to-day lives and/or we don’t feel competent in talking about our faith in Jesus. I’m hoping we can change that by encouraging people to briefly share during our joys and concern times on Sundays where they have seen God at work during the past week or where they’ve had a chance to share Christ’s love with others. If you have a longer testimony you want to share, let me know about it and we will find a time for you to share it during church. As we hear from each other, my hope is that we all become more aware of how God is working in our lives and in the world around us. This will make it easier for us to share Christ with others. I do ask that those who share during joys and concerns, keep it brief, save your thoughts to another week if a couple have already spoken, and if you’ve shared something recently give someone else the opportunity. It will also help if you give me or the ushers your prayer concerns in writing before the service starts and let me share them with the congregation. Let’s see what God will do with this.
I pray you have time to relax and enjoy life this summer.
In Christ’s love,