Friday, April 6, 2012

The Cross and the Next Generation

I believe we live in a culture of fear. The media wants us to live in fear because it creates viewers. Politicians want us to live in fear because it creates votes. "The other guy will ruin the country, so you must vote for me and hate them." It is hard to live well and make good decisions when operating out of fear.

I believe fear is what drives much of the church. We fear losing relevance...we fear declining numbers...we fear failure. Again, it difficult to live well and make decisions when operating out of fear. It's even more difficult to follow Christ.

Following a Savior who went to the cross will not happen if we are consumed by fear. Perhaps this is why we turn Christianity into something easier or simpler like: just being positive, prosperity gospel, four-line prayers, one hour on Sunday, being conservative (or liberal) e.t.c...

We mold and shape Christianity into what we want because following the way of the cross is difficult. In fact, to the world the cross is folly. It doesn't make sense in a culture obsessed with the gods of success, efficiency, and image. I wonder sometimes if the church has fallen victim to those same gods...including me.

I'm hoping the next generation will not fall victim to these idols. I hope as a youth pastor I am teaching them and showing them something different. Although I know a fail often.

I pray for a generation that embraces the cross as a way of life. Who follows Jesus even when it doesn't make sense. Who seeks his calling even when it doesn't seem smart or efficient. I pray for a generation who is selfless, compassionate, forgiving, non-violent, and worship-full. I pray that they pursue these things not because they "work" but because this is how Jesus lived. And following him is more important than anything else.

Our youth praying at the cross during Holy Week