Big question...one that I ponder on a regular basis. As I look out across the culture landscape of today's students, I see many things...let me share one need... Authenticity...they want it from their family and looking around at that, we see many students grow up without a true sense of worth steming from home. Many are battered and bruised from verbal and physical abuse...They go to school where they are ridiculed for their "status." Many are looking for someone to be real with them and love them unconditionally...that is truly what a world without Christ finds amazing!
Psalm 118:6 says, "Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free!"
Are we being authentic towards people without Christ? Do they know we struggle and have pain as well? I'm amazed at how much frustration, anger, bitterness, pain and depression runs through students today. Are we supposed to never have these feelings? I say no...but it is how we respond to it that matters... Jesus offers us freedom! He wants to unshackle the chains and help each person come out of their pain and into His love and acceptance.
My heart is to see this happen everyday through our love for other people. God's Spirit in us was not given to us when we received Christ to sit there, but we are to follow His leading to encourage and help this battered generation of students.
Their music is loud and many times you can't make out the words...well...many people would frown at this and say, "oh, those kids now-adays are out of control, no good will come of them!"
I say...they are crying out for authenticity!! For someone to hear their cries for love...they have such a passion and desire for life! Many just need Jesus. As a student pastor, I have many people come to me and say, "I sure don't know how you put up with those kids..." or "kids nowadays sure are out of control..." My response many times is silence...or I might say, "I'm so blessed to be able to share Jesus with students..." It is a privilige to work with students that are hard to reach...As far as I remember Jesus did not always work with the people that had it all together! I'm sure God doesn't look at us like some modern day pharisees! Jesus came to seek and save the lost and didn't say it would be to a "certain group of people." He came so that all could come to salvation.
We as the church must have an answer to the questions they have for their life!
True authenticity is found in an eternal relationship with Jesus Christ! The real question is...are we giving them the answer???