A friend of mine once told me, “I couldn’t do what you do, Jenny. I couldn’t work in a school and work with kids at church, too.”
I told her, “I love working with kids. If you can make an impact on a child, you just affected the rest of their life. If they fall in love with Jesus—not church or religion—it changes the course of their life forever. If they can really grasp that there’s a God who wants to be there for them, and who wants to be their best friend, it’ll change their life.
“When it changes their life, that’s when it’ll ripple out into our society. I believe that if America is going to have another great awakening, it’s going to be in our youth. This next generation is going to be sick and tired of their parents’ way of doing it, or maybe their parents are never home, never there for them.”
She told me that her pastor recently reminded her church how the early church (soon after Christ’s ascension to Heaven around 33 AD) saw all kinds of miracles. 3000 people got saved in one day! People were being raised from the dead!
She told me that her pastor then asked something that really struck her and has been rolling around in her mind ever since. It’s very similar to what my husband Myron, also a pastor, asked our church recently:
Why are we not seeing this in the church today? If we’re serving the same Jesus, why are we not seeing that today? And not just in the church, but in our own lives?
I told my friend about the banner Myron created to hang in our sanctuary—right behind the pulpit—that says, “We are the generation called to have bold faith, that dares to dream big, destined by God to be extraordinary and created to be WORLD CHANGERS.”
She was surprised at the boldness of the statement and asked where Myron found it. I told her he wrote it. That led to an entire discussion about the history of the fellowship of churches that we are a part of, as it contributes to our bold statements of faith in God.
In a nutshell, it sprang up from the 1970s Jesus People Movement. Young people were looking for something real, something to provide answers for the turbulent times they were living in. Those young hippies were looking for a purpose bigger than themselves. A cause they could get behind to make a difference in the world.
Today, that same spirit drives the next generation to get behind social causes with passion and fire.
Human sex trafficking and racial inequality, rightfully so, are grave injustices that are worthy of fighting to correct.
But when young people, like our sons Caleb and Jacob’s peers, truly grasp the deep abiding peace that comes with being accepted by our Maker and loved just as we are, that revelation will intersect with their passion and become a force for hell to reckon with.
When these young people experience profound and extremely personal forgiveness for every one of their sins, they will begin to not only let their light shine but fan it into a flame that spreads like wildfire across their sphere of influence.
Today, as we celebrate the birth of the Son of God, let’s remember why He came and who He came for.
The God of the universe was not happy without you and me.
His love drove Him from the throne room to a hay filled cradle. That same love drove Him to the cross. Love kept Him nailed their as the life blood drained out, atoning for our sin.
Why? Because He loves us and wants us in His family. Young, old, rich, poor, black, white. His love fought for us all.
He is not merely tolerating us, waiting to bring judgment at our first slip up. Scripture tells us he is rejoicing over us with singing! Zephaniah 3:17
When life is not as it should be, I can rest in remembering who I am in Christ,,, a daughter of a loving King, who delights in me and loves me just like he loves His son, Jesus. We are joint heirs, after all. Romans 8:17
But what about the next generation that’s rising up without that peace? Without that knowledge that God loves them the same way?
There are precious young people searching for hope and answers. For meaning in the midst of pain and turmoil. Will you join me in sharing the good news that hope is found in Christ?
This generation is worth fighting for.
Who is one person in your life you can reach out to today in love? Let’s do this, friend!
Oh, and one more thing…Make sure to love your family and hug them tight today, too. Those of us who have lost dear loved ones know all too well that each day is a precious gift from God.
I’m so grateful for each one you and wish you all a very