Reggie opened with a competition for you 18 & 19 year olds by playing sounds to see if they recognized them: Dial-up Internet, Pacman, Percolator, Rotary Phone, Bewitched, and Typewriter. Most of them recognized 2 or less sounds.
Fuller Institute says that 50% of college students drop out. Barna says 60%. Lifeway says 70%.
Whatever stat you go with, the number is too high!
25% of our culture shows up to church while 75% don’t even show up.
What you do is so critical. The next generation is critical. But to reach them…
This gets messy.
Story about Frank in the bathroom at Lennox Mall who had a major accent and Reggie ends up helping him. He wasn’t excited about it. It was messy.
Sometimes leadership is messy. We have a picture of what we think something is going to be, and then it gets messy.
1. You can’t lead without getting messy.
Quit acting like you signed up for something and begin acting like God called you to do something!
2. There was no way for Jesus to do what He did without getting messy.
In Josh 6, Jesus got frustrated with people following him for the wrong reason. Jesus tells the crowd, “I can give you some bread that will make you never hunger again and water to drink where you will never thirst again.” As the crowd gets excited. Jesus then leans in and says, “I am the bread of life, if you want to eat the bread, you have to eat me.
“Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life.” John 6:53-54
There are a lot of people who drop out of Christianity because they think it is supposed to be easy and instead find that it is messy.
The Missing Piece – Teaching that it is going to be messy. We have carpeted and painted christianity too much. We have romanticized what happened when Jesus was on this earth, including the cross.
What happened on the cross was much more horrific than we imagine.
3. There’s no way to make disciples without THEM getting messy.
If you track with Jesus through the New Testament, he didn’t always answer their questions. There was tension in the way that he talked.
He loved the people others didn’t love. They were the outcasts.
Sometimes we soft-sell what the christian life is going to be like. Maybe the goal is not for everything to work out. Maybe the goal is for Jesus to do a work inside of us.
What do you think you would discover about discipleship if you interviewed first century Christians?
Jesus did not die to make you HAPPY, Jesus died so you would be FORGIVEN.
Jesus did not call you to follow Him to SAFETY, Jesus called you to take up a cross and engage in a MISSION.
Too often we try to protect and isolate students that we forget to engage them.
a. You can protect the next generation.
b. You can engage the next generation.
The missing element of discipleship is engaging people in a mission that is bigger than them.
If you want this generation’s faith to COLLAPSE in a messy world, then just keep them in a room and teach them.
If you want to disciple this generation’s faith to THRIVE engage in a messy Gospel.
It commands you to love your neighbor.
Engage them in a messy Gospel that calls us to become one body.
The Body that Jesus died for is bigger than your church.
Engage in a messy Gospel that is paradoxical and mysterious.
They will never really UNDERSTAND until they EXPERIENCE! …so connect them to leaders, not teachers.
Connect students to leaders who will connect with them and lead them.
They will never really LOVE until they SERVE! …so give them consistent opportunities to do ministry.
Organize you ministry so that they have opportunities to serve. Why do we give them keys to 2 tons of steel and allow them to drive down the inter estate but don’t give them the keys to ministry.
They will never really LIVE until they GO! …so move them to a wider community and a greater mission.
When it comes to discipleship, it’s LESS about how many ATTEND your programs, and MORE about how many ENGAGE in the mission.