Recently, I asked some of my staff to meet with me in the NCO conference room. The invitation was only extended to those under 40, and we had 11 people present. I asked them how we could better enfranchise their generation.
I got an earful! They were honest, clear and forthright. They want to help; they want a say; and they want to be a genuine part of the process of decision making and are willing to shoulder the responsibility that comes with it.
I lamented with them over the reality that many of their friends who still are “in love” with the Lord have given up on the institutional church. We prayed together over the lack of sensitivities between generations, as well as the breakdown of communication that often exists despite no bad intentions—but nonetheless becomes a breach of connectivity.
Then I thought of the ongoing primary ministry of Jesus. He was constantly reconnecting people who were disenfranchised, whether:
- The sick – who had been labeled as under the “consequence” of sin.
- The sinner – who had been judged or ostracized by the religious community.
- The Samaritan – who represents people held at a distance simply because of their background or
The statement, “Thy kingdom come,” has inherent with it a way of thinking that is incredibly intentional about building bridges where they’ve been washed out. It means having your convictions shaped by mercy and love. It means taking an unpopular stand when it is the right thing to do. But most of all it means listening, learning and leading others into a way of life that most reflects the heart of God.
Forgive me, Lord, for every occasion that my words, actions or thoughts have not reflected Yours. Help me, Lord, to link arms with others in a Holy Spirit empowered season of Connections! Make us ONE!
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you … May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” –John 17:20, 21, 23 (NIV)