A Breath of Hope
I was talking on the phone with one of my friends from France this week. He travels a lot in ministry, speaking in France, Switzerland, and Israel on a regular basis. He mentioned that he had just come back from Switzerland and noted a change that was hopeful. He said that for the first time in a long time, he found young people seriously interested in the faith and had asked him to return and continue sharing the word and faith with them. It was so profound that it impacted him. (me too)
For a long time we have been looking for younger people to be interested in the faith. Not a superficial look and attendance, but a serious pursuit of God. It will take a serious pursuit to carry the gospel into the world. It will take a serious pursuit for the survival of the church as an entity, keeping it alive and representing the Lord.
We have had such an entertainment mentality and consumer approach that we have lost the deep commitment to the kingdom of God. Sad to say, the depth of engagement is shallow. Sad to say, the hunger for the word is barely existent. Everything takes priority over the celebration of the resurrection and the community of believers. It is evident in our society that more and more things are scheduled on Sunday mornings. Mid-week services of churches are pretty much wiped out as sports have taken the children and families. Our soccer fields, ball diamonds, and football fields are packed with cars, kids, and parents. It is a strong testimony to our priorities. What is being taught is that anything can take the place of spiritual enrichment and relationship with the Lord. So often, God gets the leftovers of our lives.
So, when I heard that young people in Switzerland showed a keen interest in the gospel, it encouraged me a bit that maybe we will see a turn around in things here as well. I seriously have a deep concern for the life of the church in America. Just because some churches have large numbers does not necessarily reflect the spiritual life of the church. Activity does not always translate into spiritual health.
I am still looking for the level of engagement that creates passion, helps passion, exports the faith to friends and family. It will take folks who are committed to the kingdom of God to carry things forward for the next 40 years. It will take children who sense a call of God to pursue Him. Most children will start in a deficiency because parents chose other things as priorities. Discovery of the Lord will have to start with the children. I guess maybe this pattern has been repeated throughout history. The Book of Joshua states that there arose a generation that did not know the works of God and had forgotten the accounts of their forefathers.
I trust God to do it again, bring life, cause hunger. I would like to see it. I would like to see it in The Connection!