I love college students. In fact, I’d want to be pastoring in a university town if the Lord called me back to the senior pastorate. I’m convinced that their generation has a much greater opportunity to reach the nations than my generation does. On the other hand, some churches, I’m convinced, won’t reach college students. Here’s why:
I thank God for pastors. They are often criticized, second-guessed, underpaid and expected to do too many things. Pastors would be perfect if they were simply omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.
I started running track when I was eight years old. Like every kid, I wanted to be the fastest on the team. I enjoyed track and field, so I continued to run through elementary and high school.
However, the older I got the slower I seemed to become. Well, it wasn’t that I was getting slower, but I wasn’t as naturally fast as many of the other guys on my team.
Whisked from the United States to Costa Rica with nothing but “five weeks of missions ‘training,’” Jamie Wright started blogging to emotionally process and intentionally expose the brokenness she saw crippling the missionary system around her (117). Over the years, her writing evolved from her blog to her first book—The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever—in which she details her journey from sweaty pagan to sweaty missionary to slightly-less-sweaty blogger and minister’s wife.
I have always been weird.
While most of my childhood peers lamented the beginning of a new school year, I looked forward to it with enthusiasm. I loved the opportunity to learn and discover new vistas.
I know, I know, I can already hear the objections and excuses. We pastors are often tired, overworked, and burdened men. That is exactly why I ask you to consider being involved in VBS and/or Christian camp ministry next summer, or this summer if it’s not too late. We need the joy these ministries offer.
Virtually every Christian parent says they want their teenager to develop a lifelong faith, but relatively few are actually talking to their students about important spiritual issues.
Barna found 97 percent of engaged Christian parents say it’s important to them that their teen develops a faith that lasts into their adulthood. And 92 percent say the same about their teen being equipped to explain the Christian faith.
“If you build it, they will come.”
I like the movie Field of Dreams, but it’s a terrible evangelism strategy for church planters.
Most unbelievers have no interest in joining you this Sunday. Simply offering a “good product” isn’t enough in this post-Christian world. It doesn’t matter how cool your venue is, how good your music and coffee are, or how hip your pastor looks.
If you want to hear some honest but painful thoughts, ask some young people in your church (teens and young adults) if they really believe the gospel has transforming power. Often, they express at least skepticism if not blatant denial of this possibility. Here’s why:
For many pastors, these words are like giant mosquitoes, sucking the lifeblood right out of them. After all, we didn’t go into ministry to be planners and administrators. We chose this profession because we love people and we want them to meet Jesus. We want them to experience Jesus in every message we preach. That’s the stuff that gets our juices flowing!