Today's guest poster is pretty near and dear to my heart...it's my sweet hubby, Aaron. I love not only the story of how the Lord brought us together, but also life with Aaron in general and the way he continuously challenges me to be my best and to also chase after the Lord together with all that we have. His passion for life, for the Lord, and for others is contagious, and I am blessed to spend life with him and share his words today.
What Millennials Want (And a Prayer)
I have watched more and more people my age turn away hard from the church. Yet, on the other hand, I have watched more people my age dive head first into serving Christ. As I cross over into my later 20’s, these thoughts have been on my heart for a while now. As I seek to continue to make much of Christ, I want to stress that these points are simply observations I have made. It is an extremely touchy topic to discuss. I would like to also note that these points do not encompass 100% of my generation. In fact, I would argue that my generation hates being put into an assumption. So here is my best effort to try and explain millennials and the church.
Father in heaven,
We want vision. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” - Proverbs 29:18
I have witnessed too many hard working church leaders with no vision. No clear ending to what they are doing. Their daily grind becomes monotonous and lifeless.
engrain your vision in my soul and on my heart.
Let’s face it, every inch of our journey should be mapped out by the vision we have. If not, why are we still inching forward? Look at how Eugene Peterson writes out Proverbs 29:18, “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.”
I want to see what You are doing.
We want to see disciples being made.The Gospel is a visionary story. One that takes people who once had their own vision for their life and gives them a new one. One that takes people who are blind and allows them to see anew. Christ’s vision for our life: make disciples. Stop searching. You need not look any farther. Christ said, “Go make disciples.” That was his vision for your life. If we see that the church is not making disciples, we feel people do not see Christ for the real treasure He is.
And recognize the treasure You are.
In turn, we recognize when things aren’t real. We want authenticity. We have grown up in a world where everything is trying to grab our attention. Everything. We have been exposed to so much advertisement that we have had no choice but to learn to decipher and understand what is real or not. Some of us possess this skill more than others, but I digress.
We ask ourselves quite often, “Is this worth my time?”
Honestly, is it? Is what is happening in and around the church meaningful enough to take notice? With a set vision, tuned to Christ and the Gospel he has offered, you better believe it is worth everyone’s time. There is no power greater than Christ and the Gospel.
You are more than worth my time; I will give you every breath.
I am often times telling kids that the only thing that they can control is themselves and the work they put in. So cliche'! But so true!
We are focused on excellence. Is the church focused on excellence? We are easily distracted and when something isn’t done right we notice. I have attended a lot of church services where it was obvious there was no apparent intentionality behind what was happening. This is troublesome.
In Malachi 1, the Lord is speaking about putting forward your best offering. He goes as far as saying those that don’t give their best offering he finds no pleasure in. That's scary.
I will give you the best I have to offer at any cost.
The Gospel is an excellent story and deserves to be presented in an excellent way. I have been transformed by an excellent Gospel, therefore I will do all things that I can control with excellence.
“Aaron, are you trying to say we earn our salvation by the excellent work we have done?” Nope. I am saying others might see Christ and His excellent Gospel through the excellent ways you present it. Thus, making disciples.
Because you saved me at great costs.
As Christians, we must rely heavily on Christ. If there is one thing that I have learned from the small amount of time I have spent in structured ministry work, it is that Christ will do the winning. He has simply invited us along, given us a vision, and asked us to do what we can with excellence. Leave the rest to Him. Amen?
I love that idea: that we are simply invited along and given a vision to be a part of the Lord's work. It has been so interesting to see the ways in which our generation has both engaged and disengaged from the church as a result of our desire for vision, authenticity, and excellence. How have you seen this in your generation, and in the generation of millennials?