Archive for August, 2008
Tony Morgan writes,
“Most churches in America are designed for an older audience. In fact, the more-seasoned folks in those churches are sitting on committees telling the students and young adults how they can and can’t do ministry. The result? Younger people are leaving churches in droves.”
I completely agree with Tony! The younger people.. the youth of the church don’t feel like its their church. They have no feeling of ownership or stake in the church or the service. If that’s the case it is easy to walk away from something and leave it without out it even bothering them one little bit. However, ask a youth to leave a service that they started, feel passionate about and have a stake in its success and you will be like trying to pull a new born baby from its overprotective mother.
How is it that we give the youth this feeling that this church is for you, it is yours, you have ownership in it? Tony writes, “Here’s what I know to be true. If the church is going to continue to reach the next generations…”
- He writes that he must “be willing to give leadership to people younger than me…and let them make mistakes.” I agree with this but of course they wont be without someone who would fulfill the role of an adviser/overseer.
- He writes that he needs “to embrace new methods of ministry…even though it makes me uncomfortable.” Just because its new and that its not the way it has been fro thousands of years does not make it wrong! Every new method should be evaluated and considered and if it is acceptable implemented with zeal.
- He writes he needs to “encourage and finance the next generation church…and stop trying to make church a place that I like to attend.” I would like to emphasize encourage! I feel that sometimes the vibe that is given off by church leaders is that everyone should get behind the idea if it is presented by someone who is older and that if it is the same idea from a younger person it is shot down. There needs to be an active encouragement of our youth to participate and to take leadership roles so that even if they don’t they know that they could! We need to replace the “I can’t” attitude with an “I CAN” attitude.
Let us remember what H.H. Pope Shenouda III always says, “The youth are the future of the church… A church without youth is a church without a future…” H.G. Bishop David has gone further to say that the youth are the present of the church with the understanding that the future is now! Our church must become the church of the youth and the youth must step up to be the Christian leaders they are called to be!
Guys… Please, fell free to comment…
A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups – porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate. When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said:
“Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you’re drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups. And then you began eyeing each other’s cups…”
He then pauses and says, “Now consider this:
Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money, and position in society are the cups.
They are just tools to hold and contain life.
The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have.
Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us.
God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups.
The happiest people don’t have the best of everything.
They just make the best of everything that they have.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
And enjoy your hot chocolate!!”
Yet another email forward that got me thinking…
What cup would I have chosen? Personally, I don’t think that I would have picked the most expensive crystal cup with the gold trim, but I know I would not have picked the plain cheap one… but hopefully something in between; something that was definitely clean. Anyway, as the analogy goes… that is not what I do many times in life. Many times I would choose to buy something that is more expensive or flashy yet does the same function as the cheap one. Why is it that because we have money, we think we must spend it? Why not spend what you need to and give what you don’t need to those who need, those who have nothing? I pray that the Lord would give me the wisdom to not spend mindlessly as we are brainwashed to do, to know that I don’t need everything the media tells me I need, and to know the difference between something that I need or something I want.
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