A few years back, I noticed on Facebook a status posted by Commissioner Jan Condon (Territorial Leader in Australia at the time) that said ‘It takes a whole church to raise a child. Let them belong before we expect them to behave and believe’. This got me thinking about how we act as a church/youth and what we prioritise.
One of the biggest values and feelings that humans seek is to know that they belong. To know that they are included and have value. As a church/youth we need to create an environment and community where people feel included and belong. The only way that we can ever hope to achieve this, is if we convey the love of Christ. We need to experience it ourselves and through that we can impact others.
John 3:16-17 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.’
He loved us so much that he gave his life so we can belong and be included in His kingdom. How can you better illustrate this in your world today? Is there someone who you can show God’s love to now? If you love someone and show interest in them, this goes a long way to helping them feel like they belong. It’s through belonging that we all come together and can better discover what Christ wants us to do. Let’s create a culture of love and belonging in our church and especially our youth/young adult community.
I saw something of Facebook recently that got me thinking when I was writing this blog. A friend of mine made a comment about the amount of people that were so pumped to be going to see Adele in Australia.
I heard on the radio that there was some record breaking crowd of 90,000 people at a stadium seeing the Adele concert in Sydney. This actually blew my mind. Not only that there were that many people in one area but the fact that they were all so excited to even get a glimpse of her and to hear her sing (which let’s be real, is amazing). Adele came to NZ last week and I know so many people who made the trip to Auckland to go, which is awesome.
What this got me thinking about is this. People will do almost anything to get a glimpse of Adele or to hear her sing. In the days when Jesus was on earth, he had a similar effect on people. He would attract crowds of thousands of people, who would gather just to get a glimpse of him and to hear what he had to say.
Sadly, sometimes these days I feel like (and I’m totally talking to myself here first and foremost) people are so excited to get a glimpse of someone who is famous or to hear what they have to say (or sing in the case of Adele). But at times, as Christians, or not, Jesus and the power of his word doesn’t have the same effect. We find it a hassle or burden to spend time with God daily, or to get up early on a Sunday morning to go to church. In contrast we would do, like I say, almost anything to get to a concert or see a famous person. It could be life changing experience.
I challenge you, and myself, to be excited to hear and receive from Jesus, it could be a life changing experience. To have passion and excitement and to do almost anything we can to ensure that we are hearing from him and encountering him. I challenge you to be like one of those early Christians who would do anything to see Jesus, or to take that excitement and ‘would do anything to see Adele’ attitude and channel it into your relationship with Christ and see what happens.