Friday, June 12, 2009

A Better Sermon

One of the things that I noticed the week of camp was the incredible interaction between the college aged students and the kids that were at camp. Even the high school kids had the ability to to capture the hearts and attention of the little ones. Of course, I remember that "the big kids" were always cool if they had time for you when I was an elementary student.

There were the college kids that did the Sports Crusaders clinics, plus college and high school aged counselors. The kids just loved them and they did a great job with the kids. So many of the kids never get any attention from their parents that they are really starved for some positive encouragement.

At some point, it occurred to me that these young men and women are telling a great story just by giving their time to the children's camps. The testimony that it's cool to love Jesus means so much more coming from them than it does coming from me.

They are cool.

I'm just some guy that's older than their parents preaching to them.

As much as I love to tell the stories from the Bible and really strive to bring them to life, I'm still the preacher to them. The kids are going to have to be the ones that share the Gospel with their peers. For the kids at church, I can talk to them and they have a respect for me that their friends don't have. It will be their job to share the truth of the Bible.

In truth, my generation has done a lousy job of telling people about Jesus. The year 2007 had the lowest number of baptisms for Missouri Southern Baptists since 1943. If the parents of these kids are unchurched, we shouldn't be surprised that an entire generation is learning that God isn't that important. As we reach people with the Gospel, we are going to have to allow them some room to grow. Too often, we expect them to be as mature a Christian as we believe ourselves to be with out giving them time to learn about Jesus and what he taught about living for the glory of God.

I hope and pray the these future generations will be better stewards of the Gospel than we have been. And I hope they will forgive us for leaving the Church in the mess that we have left it in. We still have some time to clean things up and to get ready for the coming of the Bridegroom. The big questions are--What are you going to do about it? and When are you going to get started?

John <><


Sicilian said...

Interesting thoughts. . . . my son-in-laws family is a huge supporter of a Christian camp. His mom cooks every summer, his brother runs the water stuff, and his dad helps with the medical stuff on the weekends. . . . they do it because they love kids. . . they see lives changed . . . and they see a great way to reach out. I admire them for their dedication. . . . not being raised in a "camping" family. . . . I've sent my kids. . . I realize it is important for many reasons . . . glad you have had the experience.

Mike said...

I've looked at this a couple of times trying to think of a good comment. Then I read this again - "some guy that's older".
And then I thought, wait a minute, he put this here just for ME! Thanks John! Oh - yes you are.

Wv: menime - I am not a meni.