I've read a number of blogs about how sorry people are about the Church in America and how they have lost "young people".
Some are more concerned with their programs and how to attract more people, or concerned about the building project they are hoping to construct, and they have forgotten to relate to the population of our society that have become intensely involved and care about social justice issues .
The statistics are widely reported of how many young people have abandoned the Church. Some are saying they still love and follow Jesus, and others are walking away from their faith all together.
A few of the blogs were so apologetic about how the church has not reached out and done more to keep and engage the 20 and 30 somethings.
I must apologize for my generation .
Somehow we have failed in instructing, leading by example of the importance of our own individual relationship with Jesus. This is first and foremost in any and all our relationships. We must not have stressed the importance of God's Word and the extreme importance of spending time getting God's perspective on any issue in life. And quite possibly, we too, have left our own growth up to the Church and aren't invested in the Word either.
As an older, more mature follower of Christ, I have been challenged profusely by Francis Chan in Crazy Love, wanting to desperately be more involved in social issues because of Shane Claiborne's, Irresistable Revolution, and inspired by Jen Hatmaker in 7 to watch my spending and getting rid of the excesses of my life.
I have often wondered why the LORD had me live in the United States, being blessed with incredible resources, having way more than I could ever need, when I could have been born in sub Saharan Africa, and gotten AIDS from a philandering husband. I don't understand why I was blessed so. What I do know is that I can't waste the life God has given me. I can't take His blessings for granted. I need to be my own personal agent for change. If i want to see changes occur, I must start the change in myself.
I can't expect others to change if I am not willing to give up things myself. I must be willing to sacrifice so that others might have a better life. Jesus requires me to to be a lover of people, to think of others higher than i would ever think of myself.
Maybe its because I am older. maybe its because I was part of the "Jesus Freak" generation, but I believe we are each responsible for our own growth. I can't expect to know more of God and what He desires for my life if I don't spend anytime with Him. It is easy to blame my generation for many numerous wrongs, but I also advocate that we aren't totally to blame for the younger people leaving the Church.
Too many complain and place blame on others; this church isn't meeting my needs, I'm gonna try another one. This church doesn't reach out to help the poor in our community, doesn't care about issues globally.
So instead of trying to be the change that makes the difference, we leave. We look for another church, and then when we don't find one, we just quit going. And we say its the Church's fault
What I want to know is how are today's younger generation going to help change this paradigm?
Why are you giving up so easily? Why don't you help us change, to see where we are missing the mark? Why can't you persevere? Do you think we always have loved the Church, have felt supported? I realize that many of you think we are a very materialistic generation. That bothers me too. But why can't you help us be the change?
Over and over again, Jesus challenges us to take care of each other; we are to look out for the orphans and the widows, we are to take care of the poor, fight for justice for the disenfranchised and love one another.
I admit, so often , I don't.
I don't like that about myself. I am trying to change. I want to do something instead of just hoping someone else will. I start by making little changes. I'm pretty sure that's how it all begins; with little steps.
We need to be proactive. We need to begin with ourselves and then share with someone-at least one person, what we are trying to do.
We desperately need to take care and love each other. It isn't an option, its a command that Jesus gave us:
"Love one another as I have loved you".
O Lord, teach us, help us, to be the lovers of people that you have envisioned us to be.