What’s changed?

back in 1976,  i was part of a youth ministry where 15-20 high school kids…yeah, kids…went to a local nursing home every sunday to lead a worship service for the old folks that lived there.

every sunday these kids would come to sunday school and worship services at our church and then they would get organized and leave around 11:30.   we had a couple of kids who could play guitar and they would lead singing.   there were a group of kids who would sing a special song (like a choir).   there was one kid who handled most of the preaching…although there were others who would do it.   that kid ended up being a pastor in church!

this was their church.   they really cared about those old folks.   they knew them by name.   they would sit with them and talk and learn their stories.   going to the nursing home every week was way more important than anything else that happened on sundays!

nobody had to remind them to do it.   they met together to plan their weekly programs.   they were totally invested in it.  no adults organized it for them.   sheesh…the only thing the adult youth leaders did was help them with transportation,  since many of the kids who were part of this ministry didn’t even drive!

this commitment lasted for a number of years.   the older kids passed it on to younger kids.   it was amazing.

when i look back on those days…and then compare it to now…i’m left with a lot of questions.

could we ever get a group of high school kids to do that now?   what happened to our attitude to old people?   why is it so difficult to get people to invest in things that move them outside their comfort zone?   why does it seem like it is always asking too much to get people to think about the needs of others first?

i’m going to say this again…these were 15 and 16-year old kids who ran their own church!  they pastored people and cared for their needs.   they met together and set goals and planned programs and shared responsibilities…and didn’t need any adults to help them!

i wonder what we have done wrong in the church over the past 30 years that has helped created a culture of people who can’t (or won’t) assume responsibility for leadership in the church or compassionate ministry in the hearts and lives of people?

what has happened in the church that has cultivated a what-will-you-do-for-me attitude,  instead of fostering a what-can-i-do-to-help-reach-and-serve-others attitude?

more importantly…what are we going to do change this atmosphere?

these are exciting times…

4 thoughts on “What’s changed?

  1. That is awesome. I wish we had something like that. That’s one reason I love project connect so much and hate that we never do anything with it. That’s living faith

  2. I think part of the problem is that we think service projects have to be big. They have to be huge week long productions. That the project needs to be so big that the community and all the “non-believers” see it and it changes their hearts just out of the greatness of the act. That’s not the case at all. It’s the small acts that directly impact someone’s life and their heart. We have to get away from making it about productions and get closer to the glorifying God part. We don’t need to be noticed He needs to be known.

  3. I think we don’t even try to start things like this because we wait for the marching orders from the top (mike, pastors, elders, etc.)

    Like Mike needs to tell us how to hang out with Old Geezers.

    And if for some odd reason Mike doesn’t like how I choose to get involved, do you think he would kick my out of church? Haha.

    And, since we already know that we are not in the Church building business, we as a church must have plenty of time to spend helping others. I am going to commit to a couple of needs this fall. I just have to carry it out now.

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