Hey Church Family!
Will tomorrow be terrible or wonderful? It's a question we all wrestle with. But especially the next generation. Sure, we had things to deal with in our generation, growing up. Things seemed both terrible and wonderful then too. But this generation faces change and new information at lightning speeds. Tomorrow looks both terrible and wonderful. What are we to do?
My prayer for us as a church is that we would help this generation become confident enough to keep following Jesus, even if their tomorrow is terrible or wonderful. Instilling confidence is a life-long adventure. Helping people become confident enough to keep following Jesus is based on curiosity—because we don't know everything there is to know about following Jesus yet. There is still so much to discover! And, it's placing our trust in someone—Jesus—not just simply believing something.
Peter learned the hard way that sometimes there comes a time in our walk where something about our faith doesn't work out the way we imagined. Peter was certain he knew what would happen to him and to Jesus. He was certain that Jesus was the liberating King. Because of this, he was also certain he would never deny Jesus. He was so certain that he argues with Jesus and blurts out, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you!" (Matthew 26:35). This certainty changes, however, when he watches Jesus hand himself over and never fight back. Jesus was beaten and mocked, and never defends himself. Jesus was spit on and ridiculed and refused to retaliate. Jesus acted nothing like Peter thought Jesus should. Jesus was nothing like he imagined.
I don't know if you've ever experienced that—perhaps a moment when you imagined Jesus would do something for you, but he didn't. Or you imagined that because you walked with Jesus you wouldn't experience any troubles or problems. Or perhaps you imagined that your faith was solid, only to feel like everything fell apart when people at church—fellow Christians—treated you poorly. Here's what I know: If our version of Jesus doesn't line up with our expectation, we may have to go back and rediscover what Jesus said. It's not that Jesus changed—it's that our version of Jesus is off. And so, we may have to go back and rediscover the real Jesus.
Here's my point. We don't know what tomorrow will bring for the next generation. But I want nothing more than to help the next generation trust and follow the real Jesus. I'm talking about the Jesus that changes lives. The Jesus that transforms us from the inside out. The Jesus that takes dead things and makes them come alive. The Jesus that seeks out the lost and makes them found. I want to help the next generation discover THAT Jesus! That's something I can get passionate about!
Here's how we hope to accomplish this as a church:
It's all because of Jesus. We're committing ourselves to be ambitious for other's sake. I'm excited and I hope you will join us in this journey.
Together in Christ,
Notes from the Staff @The Woods