Friday, June 11, 2010

Can You Help Me?

The phone rang early in the morning as breakfast was being prepared. The shaky teenage voice on the other end said "Something is wrong with my mom, can you help?" Within minutes my wife was out of the house on the way to help. After several hours in the Emergency Room, we learned that the mom had a mild stroke. She spent several days in the hospital but made a full recovery.

The Facebook status said "Can't wait till he's gone." Later in the day it read "He's gone and we don't know where." Text messaging produced no response and the young man was incognito for several hours. When we came back to our home later in the day, there he was on the couch in our living room, safe and sound. We were glad he was safe but asked if he had called his parents and told them where he was. He did, and they said he could stay at our home overnight.

It was nearly midnight when the text message came through. A nervous 19 year old young man was worried about his sick family member. She really needed to see a doctor. They did not have a car. Could we take her to the hospital? A quick drive through the fog on a rainy night got the girl safely to the hospital for receive the care that was needed.

"I only got 8 hours of work last week," said the young adult, "I have not eaten all day." A trip to McDonald's and a swipe of the debit card through the machine fixed that right away and a meal was shared together as brothers in Christ.

These are but four examples of numerous real experiences my wife and I have had with young adults between the ages of 15-19 in the past six weeks. Many young adults are hurting. They don't know where to turn. While we may not be able to solve all their issues, many of them can be handled with a little bit of time and a whole lot of love.

When other churches ask me to share our methods with them of how our church has attracted so many young adults, I give them a number of answers. I tell them they need some upbeat music. I tell them they have to learn to listen. I tell them they need to be willing to tackle the tough questions and deep challenges of life. I tell them to let the young adults be involved in leadership. I tell them to use lots of technology and video. I tell them to make their sermons relevant to daily life. But mostly, I tell them to love young adults.

If our churches want to reach young adults, we must love young adults. Love is not just a word; it is a lifestyle. Love requires relational interaction with each other that produces positive results. Love is something that must be demonstrated through actions. Love is something that takes time, energy and effort. Love is something that cannot be faked for long. Love is the "secret" to reaching the next generation for Christ.


 

9 comments:

  1. that describes you and Kay perfectly. Thanks for being you!

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  2. Love for a teen, or anyone for that matter.... does not see the color of the hair, the choice of dress, or the number of piercings, etc... it is not judgmental, and does not make fun of or ridicule, etc...
    " Love is not just a word; it is a lifestyle" Amen!!

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  3. My hat is off to you and Kay for opening your home, and your hearts to so many others.

    We cant lead, guide or encourage others until we're willing to listen to, understand, accept and love them for who they are, where ever they happen to be.... You do all of the above so very well :)

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  4. Your post is 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 in action.

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  5. Great article. God bless you and Kay and the work of the Lord in Vermont.

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  6. I like this.

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  7. Amen! I am praying right now vigorously that all is welll!

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  8. very good and to the heart of things.

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  9. Looking for practical ways to put some of the principles in this blog post into action? Purchase my book, Developing Leadership Teams in the Bivocational Church. The first part of the book explains why bivocational ministry is biblical, normal and missional. The second part of the book explains how to mobilize the laity to do high level ministry in a team setting with the pastor so that the church can be effective in reaching its community for Christ.
    The book is published by Crossbooks and you can buy the book directly from them at:

    http://www.crossbooks.com/BookStore/BookStoreBookDetails.aspx?bookid=58188

    The book is also available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles.com and a many other online bookstores.
    If you live in Central Vermont, you can purchase a copy at the Faith Community Church in Barre, VT.

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