My phone’s Facebook App keeps reminding me of this link I saved called “5 Ways to Show Millennials Why They Need To Stay In Church” by Caleb Breakey. Ok, yeah… cool. The first part of it tells this sob story of how we’re all supposedly turning away from the church. Really? Where? and WHY? I don’t see it. On top of that, I’m tired of being grouped off by such a broad margin – 18 to 35? REALLY??? Today’s 18-year-old fresh out of high school has A LOT of differences in thinking and character from a 35 year old who’s career is about 5-10 years into its prime, probably married with 1-4 kids… BIG DIFFERENCE. And we twentysomethings are caught in the middle of this huge gap, but yet somehow categorized along with them in the sense of where we stand on the Church?
So I am going to give some perspective on why I haven’t left. I can only speak personally… I can’t convince anyone to “come back” to the church based on any other story than mine. End of the day though, my job is to share this Gospel and love my neighbor… but if someone strays, it’s something that inevitably they’re gonna have to come to grips with.
Personally, I couldn’t EVER see myself straying away from God’s love.
Sounded pretty cliché, right? Typical bible-thumping, radical-for-christ Jesus Freak, sold on the idea of some guy dying for his sins. YEP!!! And I’m even more unashamed to say so now than ever before. I bible-thump cause the Bible is TRUTH, I’m radical for Christ cause he’s Radical for me. So here you go – another “list” blog post, for you fanatics, to give you some perspective:
5 Reasons why I still serve Jesus in my Twenties:
1. I Love Jesus.
Pretty wack for a number 1, I know… where’s the spicy content? Look folks, That right there is my end-all, be-all. I love Jesus. It’s not a reciprocal type of love where I feel this way because way back when, something happened, and Jesus did something on some day to change something and make me love Him. Nah… my soul cries out for Jesus, real talk. And yeah, He did do something… He loved me.
2. I Met Jesus Personally.
When I was in High School, I had an idea of “saved” that grew from being in the church all my life… it was fun while it lasted, I guess… but when I got to college and experienced unrestrained life, I pushed all that farce aside, and thought I discovered myself. Once all the temporary fun was done, I went even deeper and discovered the not-so–fun “self” I wasn’t looking for. That “self” was on academic probation, throwing away money, gaining weight, losing friends, and couldn’t look himself in the mirror. THAT was the low point that Jesus met me at. I tell NO LIES folks – one night at a special worship service, Jesus HUGGED ME. I knew it was him. You can’t tell me it wasn’t… you weren’t there. Dude straight hugged me and said, “That’s not who I called you to be. Get it together. I love you.” THAT was when I REALLY got saved. December 2007.
3. His Grace & Mercy Covers Me.
Do you understand what this phrase means? Here’s a basic understanding: You walk into a police station. The mayor, chief justice, chief of police, an fbi agent, and your mom, are all standing there. You shoot a baby in the face, and then laugh. All those folks who have the ability to END YOUR LIFE as you know it… they all say, “That’s ok. I understand, you can’t control yourself. Just don’t do it again. In fact, I’ll take the murder charge and go to the electric chair for you.” SERIOUSLY? That would never happen in real life, right? Well… It did. And it makes no sense… I know all the wrong i’ve done… all the wrong I’ve thought of doing. Not just wrong according to a book. Wrong in my heart, as in that voice that tells you “dude… NO! You know that’s wrong.” For all the evil in my mind, someone still loves me enough to take on that justice. I know that I didn’t make it through undergrad based on my grades – I remember those nights when I refused to study, when I sat up all night on the internet instead of resting for the test in the morning, when I skipped class just so I could hang with popular people… praise me all you want for getting my degree from Howard, but truth be told, that diploma hanging on my wall is IN NO WAY mine. I didn’t earn it on my own, I couldn’t have. I mean, forget just graduating – I’M ALIVE!!! I’m 25 years old, Black, grew up in the hood, so-on and so-forth, all these pointing towards the inevitable for my demographic – either jail or the ground. I beat both… how? On my own prowess and wit? Please… someone’s up there pulling strings, setting things properly so that I survived. GRACE. In a nutshell.
4. I Can’t Imagine Life With No Jesus.
I know that there are other deities out there who, should you righteously chase after them, provide wisdom and guidance for life. But tell me… is there any other deity out there who chases you? My Jesus does. My Jesus sits in the hallway of the Student Accounts office with me, waiting with me to hear from the lady whether or not I am cleared for graduation, and tells me “it’s cool. I’ve worked this all out for you already.” Now, imagine me sitting there BY MYSELF… with either a) just a book and a few notes from some random priest or monk about what to do in those situations, or b) plain and simple, NOTHING… just me. I’d probably die. That’s my take on life without Jesus – death… slowly but surely. Call me crazy but I just think that this world is much too dangerous and much too chaotic to be walking around out here with no covering… no LEGITIMATE covering. Like I said, my Jesus CHASES AFTER ME. Seeks to save me from myself and from this world. Show me another God who does that.
5. Jesus Needs Me.
That’s the other great thing about my God that sets Him apart from other FALLACIES – I actually play a role in His-story!!! A role which He wrote the script for a looooong time ago, and my character was never erased. I ALWAYS served a purpose. I just LOVE that… I MATTER TO JESUS. No matter what the world thinks of me, or how it tries to write me off as though I’m just another black dot, a smudge on the counter, a fly on the wall… nah, my God says I’m IMPORTANT. That’s worth every ounce of my time, quite frankly.
There’s your Millenial staying “in the church.”
Take some time and think about why it is you stayed with Jesus so long… or why you left.