Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December 2015 Update

I recently returned from a gathering of student and young adult ministers in Louisville, Kentucky. Each year the National Youth Workers Convention plays host to youth leaders from all over the United States and even around the world. It’s amazing to see so many people gathered for a common purpose and with a common passion; seeing students grow in their relationship with Christ.

ROC Students serving at Lifeline Christian Mission
Some of the big questions that have been raised in and around the convention the past several years have centered around why churches are failing to connect with Millennials. There is no shortage of research, books, and articles about this problem ranging from why this is to what to do about it. But the problem still remains; we are losing the battle for the hearts and minds of an entire generation.

Personally I don’t believe that the solution to the problem lies in programs or strategies for looking more appealing to Millenials as much as it lies in some key spiritual truths. These are things that Jesus taught and demonstrated throughout the course of his earthly ministry.

Matthew 9:35-38 records the following; Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

One of the things that really stand out to me in this passage is that Jesus is moved to compassion for the crowds. Compassion is powerful because it often moves us to action. My guess is that if you are reading this then you care deeply about students and that’s why you have chosen to partner with ROC. Our churches need to continue to be motivated to act out of compassion for the lost of this generation.

Because of His compassion, in verse 38 Jesus instructs the disciples to “Ask the Lord of the harvest.” Prayer is such a powerful, yet often underutilized tool, in reaching students. That is why the ROC Staff, volunteers, and student leaders covet your prayers. We believe that current trends will only be reversed through the power of prayer. For this reason we would ask that you continue to remember us as well as the unreached on campus in your prayers.

But Jesus doesn’t stop there. He tells the disciples to “Ask the Lord of the harvest… to send out workers into the harvest field.” Romans 10:14-15 puts it this way “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” As I’ve said many times before, I believe that God has placed us in a specific place at a specific time for this very reason. God has blessed us at ROC with an incredible opportunity to go into a field ripened for harvest. Your continued prayers and support allow for us to be sent onto this campus. Additionally please pray that God would send out more workers in places where they are most needed.

I don’t believe that this generation, or any for that matter, is too far beyond the reach of God. I see great promise in the students at ROC, and I am encouraged daily in seeing the ways that God works in and through them. Thank you for the vital role that you play in this process.

So from the staff, students, and volunteers at Reach Out on Campus we would like to wish you the very best this Christmas season. We pray that your holidays would be filled with joy and peace as we remember the humble way that our Lord and Savior entered into the world.

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas,