Monday, December 28, 2009

Twenty something………………………………………

There's a gap, and I'm in it. It's called being a twenty-something. I'm "excluded" from the youth because I'm too old, yet I am excluded from certain bible study groups because I am not married. Where do I fit in!? Where is my place in the church – what is there for my generation and I? It's about more than fitting's about bringing the twenty-some things back to church – what is left of the church. It's about BEING church rather than DOING church. It's about rising up and bridging the gap that is in the church. The gap that is keeping MY generation out of the church and a deeper, personal relationship with HIM, whether they know it or not.

Twenty something's are walking away from their beliefs and what they grew up knowing. Men have few men to look up to and women look in all the wrong places because women are too busy to mentor the younger generations. The following passage struck me all year in a new way. What would happen if we started to LIVE this rather than just read it?

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.

Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled,

and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live,

not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.

Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children,

to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind,

and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.

In everything set them an example by doing what is good.

In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech

that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed

because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything,

to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them,

but to show that they can be fully trusted,

so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions,

and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

while we wait for the blessed hope-

the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness

and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

These, then, are the things you should teach.


Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

God wants us to grow and be passionate about HIM. He desires us to be mentored and to mentor. He longs for us to seek Him with all of our heart. He wants everything we have and more...yet I continually feel like I have no place in my church to turn. I have God, and He is everything to me, yet the relationships and discipleship is lacking.

Author Michael Tummillo states "one thing that seems to make the greatest difference in the lives of young people, it's the amount of TIME we are willing to invest in them. To the human mind, love itself may as well be spelled T-I-M-E." I have to agree with this statement. I am a relational person, and I believe that most twentysomethings just want someone, rather than something, to invest in them! Relationships are needed everywhere.

Throughout my journey, I have come to realize I am not alone on this quest. There are Bible-believing Christians my age who are passionate about God and stand firm on the truth! There are Christian twenty-somethings, married or single, who are seeking a place to be real, genuine, deep, vulnerable and passionate. There are twentysomethings who are willing to continue to attend church even though it may appear they are alone!

This has become a passion deep inside of me. To see my generation rise up...not just those that went on the World Race. Not just those from the Western World. I saw it all over the world. In most places, there's a gap in the church. Youth finish High School, youth groups and camp programs and start asking "what is there for me – where do I belong?" They want more, yet feel as though there is nothing offered for them, and if there IS something being offered, it is at a level that doesn't challenge them. I can't speak for all of us, but I want to be challenged and grow in my faith. To dig and dive deeper and fall madly in love with God more and more with each passing day. In order to be a mentor, I would love to have a mentor, someone willing to invest in me the way I long to invest in the needs of others around the world!

Maybe I am just looking in the wrong places. Maybe I just come from a small town and don't have the same options that a big church or city has to offer. But should it matter? Does size make a difference to God!? Regardless of where we come from, what we do or where we attend, we are to walk in faith and make a difference in our world. We are ALL His children. We are getting LOST in this world and most people older than us don't see it or won't do a thing about it. It's MY generation that is leaving church and searching for God knows what because they aren't finding it at church...or because they feel like there is nothing for them so they need to go elsewhere.

This passion and desire to bring my generation back to the church – specifically back to the cross, has become more real with each passing day. Over a year ago, God put on my heart the vision of opening ACF Reach One Campaign Kampala (ACF ROCK). As I traveled around the country last year, my heart broke in each district, yet continued to break for MY people back home who are apathetic and lost, starving for the things of this world rather than being hungry for God.

This vision and passion expands beyond what I can see. Over the last few months, I have heard countless stories and seen many examples of needs here in Uganda and around the world. The World Cup Games are just around the corner, and prostitution is alive and active in South Africa, yet very little is being done about it. It's being promoted and advertised as a "benefit" to the games, attracting people from around the globe. Articles are being written on how to "protect" the prostitutes and Gay People. How this even began to make sense is beyond me. This is MY Country. These are MY people. I saw the hope lost in these girls in Kibera Slum in Kenya – yet we are allowing it to enter our nation and take away our purity.

When are we going to RISE UP and take action to the things around us as they really are? We are paranoid about germs, yet look beyond the needs and diseases taking the lives of thousands around the globe – TB, Aids, HIV, starvation. When will it end!? My heart is broken, and I am crying out for my nation, my peers, fellow believers, to RISE UP and take action. Don't just say there's a problem – do something about it. We need to stop doing church and start being church, and church is wherever we make it. It is a body of believers.

I am tired of hearing the complaints of my church, my town, my country and this world without any hopes or suggestions of doing anything about it. We (ACF Uganda), have a passion to change this world one person at a time, using the voices God gave to us, to spread love, hope, joy and peace. I might be one person. I might be small. I may not be rich. But I have a heart. I have a dream. I have a vision. I have a passion – and that is for Christ. He changed my life. He can change yours too. It starts with ONE...are you it! Henry

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