I sat in worship and saw one of our students playing in the orchestra, another student on the risers with her arms extended in surrender and another student jamming on the drums. All the while knowing that there were even more students serving in the children’s ministry as well as anchoring a team that is encouraging the youth in our church to be Jesus followers. The church is for this generation.
In a world that is becoming more and more individualized and focused on self – this generation is feeling more and more like the church is not a place for them. They struggle to find a place to fit in or serve. But I forget about this all too often because it just isn’t the case with my partnership. It isn’t the case with my campus. We have the challenge of having too many students instead of the challenge of missing a generation of bodies within the church. I so easily forget that this generation is turning away from the church at such a rapid rate because I get to be a part of a ministry where the students are running toward the church. Toward the opportunity to serve and use their gifts. Toward the truth of the gospel. Toward a place of community.
And so…. I sat in a state of gratefulness that I have the opportunity to know a population that wants Jesus. To be a part of a church where the next generation is actively involved and feels a part of the church. I had just returned from a weekend with 4000 college students in Pittsburgh where it was a whirlwind of conversations and intensity. Conversations with coworkers about the difficulties they are facing and they are so different from my reality. How are we to equip these students to be launched from here? How are we to prepare this population for transition to adulthood?
A few weeks ago I was asked to bring stories to the CCO Board as there are many campuses that don’t have any students that are attending church, any students who are being discipled by congregants, any students who are found serving within the church. I was challenged on the numbers that I summit monthly. Do we really have that many students in church? Are there really that many students serving? Are there really that many students being discipled? At first I was a little offended, until I saw the reality for other CCO staff, and I realize that yes, my supervisor was right, our numbers were not the norm. I forgot how difficult it can be at some of these partnerships as they reach out to students with no response. How grateful I am for students that radically embrace the gospel. Who serve and engage with us. Yes, the church is for you! All generations.
Thank you for being a part of this partnership that extends opportunities toward these students to be connected to the local church. Thank you for giving up your comfort to sit close to these students. Let’s continue to empower them toward a life of relationship with Jesus!