If you have been following my life for a while through this blog you will know that this idea of being more involved in elevating suffering in the world is something that I have been wrestling with for the past few years. The more I think about it the more I think that the only way that Christians are going to be able to make an impact in this country again is if we begin to love people in practical ways again.
It is one thing to say that we love everyone. It is another thing to go and work in a homeless shelter at Thanksgiving. It is another thing entirely to sell our house and move into the inner city and start working with kids after school. But somewhere there needs to be a radical shift in our thinking or else we are going to lose our voice in our society.
Slowly but surely Christians are being relegated to the position of crazies. It is now political suicide to claim that you believe the creation story. Ask most people who aren’t in the south about Christians and you will hear them describe right wing republicans. Somehow we have lost our voice in our culture, and to get it back I think we need to be involved in helping others.
But helping others and being involved in the sanctity of life (not just the unborn life, but the life of people around the world who are suffering) is not an easy thing. It is a radical shift in the way that we do church. I think that church becoming more about us and more about social justice is more won’t happen with the church as it is today. We need a generation shift in our churches.
That is why I think it is so important for youth pastors to teach this. Imagine a generation of students who have actively been involved in reaching out to help the poor and the sick and the lost. Imagine what happens when they become the leaders in the church and look around an think, “church is more than this. How can we be the church in our community.”As youth pastors it is important to remember that we aren’t just shaping the lives of the few teenagers who are in our care. We are shaping the very nature of tomorrow’s church.
It is a daunting and humbling task, but it I believe that God is using the heart of students to call Christians to radical love once again.