That title kind of sounds like the beginning of a sappy song or the opening of a cheesy music video with images of a forlorn dude pining for a lost love as rain pitter-pats on the window sill. Okay, enough of that.
I REALLY am looking out my window at Old Main on the U of A’s campus. I’m wondering what it takes to reach college students? We hear much of being relevant, and there is awareness we must have. We hear that they don’t like institutionalized religion, and depending how that’s represented / perceived I understand. We hear that they don’t like that we have paid parking (not even going to comment on that right now, but I can see that it would affect some).
Even with all of these more cultural barriers, I still don’t think they are big enough to overcome what we have to offer. My concern is that we’re just not making that offering.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. – Romans 1:16
2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. – 2 Timothy 3:2-5
The gospel is the power of God. People have a tendency to be hypocrites (I’m no stranger to this) and prefer the appearance of godliness rather than the actual power of the gospel.
19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” – John 3:19-21
Either a person is a believer in sin and will repent under godly sorrow and conviction, or one is not a true believer. It’s not confusing in God’s view, only man’s because we claw and scratch for self-righteousness and live in a fallen world.
I say this in relation to reaching college students because the power of God, the gospel, is best given to students through gospel-driven, truly converted people. The institutionalized religion then gives way to the church being a dwelling place for God to inhabit (Eph.2:19-22).
Let us renew our passion to reach college students and be laborers in that ripe harvest, where God is already at work! Even if our church was named something else we must do this to glorify God with good stewardship of the gospel in our own backyard! However, it IS our name and that name should not evoke so much thoughts of heritage as it should accountability and responsibility, and to partner with those who have gone before us to passionately reach college students with an authentic, biblical, gospel through the lives of men and women who have been overcome by its power!
One practical beginning to recapture this would be to participate in our Prayer Walk this Saturday, April 5th, from 1:00-2:00 PM. Meet here at the church and we’ll proceed to the BCM (on Maple) and begin there.
One thought on “Lookin’ out my window…”
Pastor Mike – I could not agree more. My church in Melbourne, Australia is dealing with many of the same questions, albeit in a vastly different environment. Even though Australia has Christian (as in Anglican) roots, it’s still a post-Christian nation. Unlike Bible belt U.S.A., Melbourne can be anti-religion, anti-God, anti-church and anti-Christianity.
The irony though is that the churches that have tried to water down its beliefs to appease culture, conforming to the pattern of this world, those churches are slowly dying (the Anglican and Uniting churches, for example). Its membership has declined, and the majority of its members are over 50 years of age. The churches that are growing are evangelical churches that preach the gospel.
As a member of the so-called post-modern generation, I’m amazed at Christians who say we need to be “emerging” to reach young people, and I wonder if proponents of these beliefs in the US understand the long-term consequences of diluting the gospel. My generation wants truth. The truth. We might not want to hear it, and we might be against it at first. But it is still what we want. There is no way we’ll go for a happy-happy joy-joy Christianity. We’ll either turn away from the true gospel completely or embrace it. The middle of the road option of a relativistic Christianity might sell books for the next few years but will have little staying power.
We might need to evaluate the way in which we communicate but the message should never change.