“We try to challenge them to look at every job in the church the way Christ says to look at them; everything we do for the kingdom needs to be done with a real zeal and passion. Some take this challenge, grow, and they begin to be real, mature leaders.
But for those who don’t, we realize they are kids in their early twenties who believe they know best. We pull back and let them attend only the things they think are real ministry, and those fade away pretty quickly. They get their way, but they iss out on things that would benefit them a great deal. We have come to realize that God has to teach them lessons that they refuse to learn from us.”
-Cheshire (How to Knock Over a 7-Eleven)
In our church, I’ve really grown to understand that the kids/youth who look at you aren’t looking at what you can do, but how long you stay and how commited you are to what you’re preaching.
Let me be honest and say how turned off I’ve grown to the copy & paste generation who talk with the “like” button, the “share” button, the “retweet” button on these social mediums like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. You never really know who you’re following because I’m only getting real thoughts from today’s theologians. I mean, I have my fair share of retweets and quoting, but if you’re really going to know who you’re friends with, I also need to put my own beliefs that I stand for out there.
That’s just step one.
Now, let me be honest to say that with such huge outlets of personal newsletters like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, unless you live soley with your computer, people are going to see the reality vs. the reputation you selectively put out there for everyone to praise and “like.”
Step two is really living what what you’re retweeting, what you’re “liking,” what you’re “linking.” There has to be consistency, because let’s face it, people will see the inconsistency and begin questioning the credibility whether you like it or not, care or not care. The kids/youth in my church, through time, will start to see those who are driven by their mouths and those that are driven by their passion to serve God- and by serve, I mean do the hard work to help the ministries thrive that minister to the people.
In turn, looking at these youth grow into young adults, I too have grown to fully appreciate the ones that step up to the hard work and really commit and be consistent. You know that over used phrase that says God doesn’t need the person that has all the talent, but the one that will stay obedient? It’s over used because it’s obviously true, and if you look closely, you’ll see the individuals in church that God is using right now aren’t the most able- but the most passionate to stick it out without the lame excuses. And through experience, those people that said yes to God- I’m just amazed with how much God has pruned them to grow exponentially. And you look at them and their lives, their spirit, and you see this unexplainable joy…not just in their ministries, but their lives. They’ve become more sensitive to what God is doing in their lives, their calling. They are more thankful, more joyful, healthy in spirit, and if you ask them about God, they light up- and not in the intellectual sense where they start spewing out things from Twitter, Facebook, Feeds from today’s theologians, or quotes from popular Christian books. I mean they light up with joy and humility.
Cheshire and his friends were building a church, and he saw the truth that runs rampant in local churches. God knows where your heart is, even if you plead with yourself and say where your love is…it’ll reflect in your obedience. You can’t run from that truth. God will hold you to it.