Well, I just got back from Gulfcoast Getaway Sunday night. It was a great experience. Randy Harris and Rick Atchley both did a phenomenal job. Watershed led worship and did a great job keeping us focused on God rather than on them. There is a saying that goes like this, “we are always just one generation from apostasy.” In other words, if just one generation loses the faith, then it will be very hard for it to be carried on to future generations. I want you to know it is not likely that the next generation will drop the ball.
I just wanted to take a moment for a couple observations about our college students.
1) They are searching. God told Jeremiah, “when you seek me with all your heart you will find me” (Jer 29:13). These college students are earnestly seeking God and they are finding Him. Our future looks really good. Not to say that the Christian’s future ever looks dim because we know what awaits the people of God.
2) They are serious about their life’s calling. If they feel called to something they are not afraid to go, even if it is different than the status quo. The status quo with these 18-22 year olds is that there is no status quo. If God’s people are going to change the world it is essential that they earnestly seek the will of God for their lives. They are doing that.
3) They are bringing with them a revolution in worship. Today, new songs are being written and disseminated faster than ever. As these students mature and begin to take leadership in the church, I really belive worship is going to take a pretty big shift. Hopefully this won’t cause a rift between the generations. Prior to the technological revolution, we always loved our “O Sacred Head”‘s and our “When I Survey”‘s. Newness is a priority to this generation of Christian which may come at the expense of many of our older songs. But as things always seem to come full circle, I wonder if many of our older songs won’t be “rediscovered” by future generations and reappreciated. Whether we like it or not, worship is going to have a face lift in the next decade.
4) Our college students value experience. They don’t want to sit in stuffy rooms and listen to a preacher speak for an hour on the Jebusites. They want a real worship experience. They want to know God is present and that He can, will, and is actually changing their lives.
So, get ready to be challenged. Get ready to maybe even feel a little uncomfortable as a generation who is on fire for God steps up. Be careful with them. Be careful not to dampen their spirit or squelch their thirst for God in an effort to curb their occasionally misdirected enthusiasm. Be ready to mentor them. Be ready to sharpen them. Be ready to encourage them and channel their enthusiasm by combining their willingness to serve and to be real with a real knowledge of God and His word. Be patient with them as they like to jump into things often without really thinking everything out. Remember, God can really use people like that! Remember that they have what many of us have been missing for generations – a passion for God that can really get things shaken up. And they need to realize that many of the older Christians have what they may be lacking – a bedrock foundation in and respect for the Word of God. When those two things are combined and our strengths are put together, the world will never be the same as God will use us to really make an impact.
The future is bright!