Monday, October 20, 2008

My little girl is getting married this weekend...

I sit here this morning with so many thoughts racing through my mind.

What a crazy busy week this will prove to be. So much going on, so much to do, so many we'd like to see, so few we will spend fair time with, so far to travel and so longing for him to be present to see this event. He was and would be so proud of his sister.

At the same time, I think of how he invested in the lives of others while he was here. I think of conversations I've had of late, with youth ministers and youth workers, whose growing broken heartedness over this generation of youth is ever increasing.

Somehow, I've spent time in the 'narrow lane' of students who are in love with Jesus as they come to our organization looking to partner, to serve Him. Meanwhile, the superhighway of other youth seem to descend at perilous speeds, into lethargy, even apathy over their view of God and what it means to serve Him.

Too many sit week after week in Sunday or Wednesday services with their hearts and minds anywhere but in the presence of the Lord. Their glazed and rolling eyes are a clue to their level of disengagement. If they ever understood what it means to have a relationship with our Savior, there seems to be a widening chasm of concern over the intimacy of that relationship.

What is important is will they be accepted among their friends? When will they get to see them next? Where will they go, what they will do, and who all will be present? It's not that they do not desire your investment, it's more that is seems misplaced or ill-timed...irrelavent for the moment.

Many seem to be so engaged in the immediate nature of intimacy with others that is righteously reserved for marriage, that their view of the Bible isn't waning, it's fractured and the marrow dessicated. The intoxication of their moments together are addicting and strengthens their yearning for the next opportunity.

In their minds, the wave of their hormones requires expenditure in gratification, and the idea of "waiting" is unimaginable, impossible, and lacks virtue.

And these are the churched youth.

Reaching them and understanding them and their subculture is more important now than it has ever been. We are losing more and more of them at high school graduation. They see it as the 'right to drop out' of things forced upon them by a world that doesn't get it and obviously doesn't understand them.

The nuclear family has been replaced by their complex network of friends and amusements. Conventional methods of reaching them are no longer a worthy part of an evangelistic arsenal.

Love and acceptance for who they are comes quickly from friends, while the church tries to change them, and make them fit a mold that was die cast a millenia ago. They look at too many of their parents and other adults and see a band of fools that are nowhere near living the Gospel they preach on church days. In their minds, if it were truth, why wouldn't it be working for these they once revered?

They want things to be real, they want truth but on their own terms, and they believe that it is relavent in the moment, not across centuries.

Broken homes produce splintered dreams and reshape paradigms of young hearts.

It is our responsibility to figure out how to minister in the brokenness of a world we have helped to create.

The answer is still the same. JESUS! The method of reaching these wandering hearts must change. We must figure out ways to meet them where they are and invest in them in ways that ultimately lead them to a fruitful life in Him.

That means we need to model the same.

We cannot tell them one thing and live another. They know truth when they see it. It's time to let them see it.



At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, I love your heart for these kids! It is heart-wrenching to watch, to hear their confusion over the gospel message, to see them filling their need for intimacy with the Lord being filled with everything but. It is almost enough to make one feel defeated. But I know the Lord has overcome this world. And He has won the war. He CAN do what I can not do. I just try to make myself available to them, to love on them when I am with them, to challenge, guide and offer a biblical viewpoint sadly lacking in their world.

May God richly bless all of you this weekend. And may He be the center of this marriage always.
Mark \0/

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had this conversation with my "Sr." son yesterday. He didn't want to go to church. I know he walked away without getting anything yesterday. I could only tell him how I craved to be there to worship and that I couldn't make him worship. I long for him to "get it".

Our family broke apart last year and it has been hard for all of us. I appreciate the men who have come alongside my son this year. I wish it had been his dad. Thanks for your influence in his life.

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
I only have one question..."Purdue"?????
Greenfield, Indiana

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Pray for BJ said...

Sorry Jeff, Hoosier by birth, Boilermaker by choice (class of '82)!!!

At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you Greenfield! lol
IU Class of 81 here! lol \0/
(lov ya anyway you silly boilermaker!)

At 11:07 PM, Blogger Cyndi R. said...

I did not know that Whitney Higgins was getting married!! Whitney congratulations sweetie- what a blessing you are to have at UTA Nursing School. Love, Cyndi Rains, RN, BSN. (I did your check-offs last week)

Congratulations Pastor Higgins, she is a sweet girl :)


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