I have to be really honest with you (which comes as no surprise to those who know me). There are times of serious frustration in my life. Frustration with the system I was born into, raised in, and now work for. A system known as the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
As I drove to Myrtle Beach, SC, a few weeks ago, I had conflicting thoughts. IGNITION had been a breath of fresh air last February in Dallas, TX. Would the sequel offer more of the same, or leave me wishing I had stuck with the original?
I had recently sat through three days of ministers’ meetings where I had heard more about how to minister to postmodern young adults. The information was right-on. I just get frustrated (a common thread) at all the talking. I like to see action. I want change and while technically a Gen X’er, I resonate with Dr. Tim Elmore’s description of Gen Y—‘I want to change the world, and I want to do it in a year’ (or less). Change doesn’t seem to happen like that, though.
I realized several things while in Myrtle Beach, however. I realized and was reminded that change is happening. Change that is bringing increased health to our church. There are some really amazing people working to bring about positive change, too. Reconnecting with my colleagues reminded me of why I do what I do.
This was the most significant piece for me right now. I realized that I get so focused on how “the system” needs reformation, I lose sight of the people. I can’t see the trees for the forest, you might say….
God has called us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. That is the foundation of young adult discipleship, transformation, and ministry. I don’t know how it is for you, but I lose sight of those two commandments so easily. I forget so quickly that it is simply about loving well… loving God, loving others.
IGNITION, take 2, turned out to be an incredibly rich and valuable experience. A much-needed reminder of what ministry is all about: relationships with an amazing Creator God, relationships with those whom I do life everyday. Glacial movement happens over an extended period of time… and I can trust God to bring it about in His timing.