Satisfying the Hunger... is a blog written by the ministry staff of Evangelism & Church Growth
WHERE WILL THEY LAND?
College students amaze me! In the last couple of months I have been on almost a dozen different college campuses and have met with students from about a dozen other campuses around the country. And from Seattle, Washington to Maryville, Tennessee and from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Alma, Michigan there is a common vitality that courses through the campuses collectively; it’s the lifeblood, it’s the students! Their energy seems boundless and their optimism limitless. Whether it’s a gathering of 500 students or a work crew of 15, the light of Christ just seems to spill out of them, as if they can’t contain it. The promise and potential wrapped up in the lives of these incredible young people is almost overwhelming. We can only imagine the gifts, contributions and prospects that await the church that receives these folks into their midst!
That’s the hope anyway. That some church somewhere will be attractive and available when these young people move on from college – and that part is certain, eventually everyone moves on from college. It used to be that leaving home and moving to college or getting a job was when we left the proverbial nest. With more and more people going to college, helicopter parents and all the services that colleges and universities now offer, college has become rather insular in itself. And the real push out of the nest comes after graduation or dropping out.
When that glorious graduation day arrives (or the tough decision to not return to school becomes reality) and these young lives take flight in some way or another…where will they land? Will they seek the fellowship of the church? Will there be a congregation that suits them? That reaches out to them? That meets their needs? Feeds their souls? I pray that there will be. There are way too many gifts and talents, too much passion and vitality waiting to be unleashed from these young hearts and minds. Is your congregation a place like that? Is your church a landing place? Could it be?
Which makes me wonder, if my church was to be their landing place, could my congregation – forget that – could my life match the level of passion and energy for the faith that these young people have? I’m not talking about staying up all night having the Great Conversation or pondering the meaning of life. I’m talking about being swept away by the possibilities and wonders of faith: standing in awe of God’s love, being brought low by Christ’s sacrifice, weeping with joy at the movement of the Holy Spirit. That gives me great pause. Is being in my 40’s a valid excuse? No. Is being a congregation of retirees a valid excuse? No. Is being in an old building or the wrong part of town or between pastors an excuse? No.
Let’s take a lesson from our young people. Wherever that verve for life and faith went (not the anger that seems to be mistaken for righteous indignation these days, but pure energy for what God is doing), wherever it is – let’s go there! If it’s a college campus – go there. If it’s a group home – go there. If it’s deep in Scripture – go there. In doing so, may we provide a landing place for the soaring passion in all of us!