A troubling reality that the church faces today is the alarming number of young adults who forsake the faith, despite their Christian upbringing. If you were raised in church or attended a Christian school, I’m sure you can think of some examples (I know I can). We could spend a lot of time considering all the contributing factors for this troubling trend, but I want to focus on one factor specifically: the way we describe the world to our youth.
Christians have idols that we love to hate, at least superficially, like materialism or pride. For some reason these are the idols that are the ones that typically get the “amens” and “that’ll preach” comments when the pastor serves up a message about them. But for some reason, there are certain idols that we just love to love. Were the pastor to preach on an inordinate love of conservative politics, or the American dream, or the nuclear family I’d venture a guess that we wouldn’t hear as many “amens” during that sermon. Yet, even the good and well-intentioned things that we do as Christ-followers can become idols if we allow them become so prominent that Christ loses His preeminence in our lives.
We tend to associate the highest godliness with the lowliest service. This is perhaps why most of our discussions on Christian leadership focus on “servant leadership” and we do need this kind of leadership. We need leaders who do something. But I would suggest to you that Scripture teaches leaders lead by both doing and delegating, and it’s the latter we struggle with the most.
We use the word “love” in many different ways—from the trivial to the profound. I “love” Taco Bell, and I “love” my wife. One of those is a trivial love and the other is a profound love...and it better be clear which one is which! The real test of your love for any given person or thing is what it takes to lose that love. I love Taco Bell, but if they start using dog meat in their tacos or replace all their tortillas with lettuce wraps, I won’t love Taco Bell anymore. Why? Because I love Taco Bell for what they give me. If their food goes bad, I won’t love Taco Bell anymore—it’s a trivial love. My love for my wife should be much more profound than that. It should be deeper than any disagreement or obstacle that might come between us. In fact, my profound love for my wife should motivate me to resolve any disagreement or remove any obstacle that might hurt our relationship. If my love for my wife was like my love for Taco Bell, it wouldn’t take much to lose that love.
Dear Parents of Teenagers,
Thank you for all you do to invest in the life of your teenager(s). You probably feel like you are constantly juggling multiple hats. You are the taxi driver (ready to pick them up/drop them off at whatever they need to be at), coach (helping them perfect that jump shot or throw that strike), personal tutor (working with them to finally get that math concept down), guidance counselor (preparing them to have future success) and, sometimes, motivational speaker (just trying to get them to get up and do something). You are all these and so much more!
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