It is crunch time at our house. In less than one week our church will host a student conference called “Motion” where we will expect to see about seven thousand kids converge on the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center for a few days of worship and teaching. Since my husband is Creative Director for Student Ministries at our church, this is easily the biggest thing he will do all year. Plans for this weekend conference have been in motion for nearly a year. This isn’t the kind of weekend party one throws together in a few days. Still, the last few weeks, and the last several days have seen little talk of anything not having to do with Motion.
It is true that our world is in real peril. Strong “family” values are slipping away. Our culture is giving way to selfishness, violence, and immorality. Compromise is the word of the day.
“Dogs and cats- living together!” (Ghostbusters, 1984)
Holding ourselves to any kind of higher standard is ridiculed and mocked openly in the media.
Young girls are taken and sold into modern day slavery and passenger planes are shot out of the sky for no good reason. Not that there is any good reason to shoot a passenger plane out of the sky.
We are living in difficult times. But if we read our Bibles, this is not something that should really come as any kind of surprise. While we can and should continue to hold tight to what is left of the moral fiber of this nation and this world, it will continue to slip between our fingers and fade away. What might come as a bit of a surprise is the rapid nature of the decline. My children are growing up in a much different world than I did. I can remember the innocence of my childhood when I had little or nothing to fear. It seems like another lifetime. In a way, it is.
As parents, Matthew and I have tried to protect our children and maintain the innocence of their childhood. Things like the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers have made that a difficult task. The world is a different place than the one in which Matthew and I grew up, and there is no going back. I realize that I am sounding completely like a Debbie Downer, or Negative Nancy. That’s not my intention. While these things I say are true, and they give me pause, these days also excite me. Why? Because I know that all these things are happening right on time. While it may seem that everything is going to hell in a hand basket, there is an itinerary and we are right on schedule. The moment sin entered the world that clock started ticking.
The closer we get to the time of Jesus’s return, the closer our relationship to him needs to be. If we do not find our security in him, we will surely fear these perilous times. As the world contiues to spin out of control, it is that inner peace that passes all understanding that will bring us through. I look at my children and see that their level of faith in Christ is so much higher than mine was at their ages. Their discernment and commitment is better and stronger. They are better able to see what is true and what is not.
But it’s not only my kids. The level of faith of the believers in their generation is truly astounding. They may be but a remnant, but they are strong. I believe it is but one more sign of our times. They are going to have greater need for stronger faith, and God is supplying their need. As we get ready for Motion Conference, I can’t help but get excited to watch them as they gather to pray, to worship, and to grow.
Are your kids a part of this? So many of our “Southern” kids are lost in the land of cultural Christianity. They grow up going to church because it’s the southern thing to do, while they never really have a full on relationship with the living God. If you are not seeing evidence of growing faith in your children’s lives, then it’s time to take action. If they aren’t dragging you to church or showing concern for spiritual things, then perhaps it’s time to sit up and take notice of where they are in their relationship with Jesus. The best we can do to prepare our kids for the exciting and difficult days ahead, is to make sure they are continually growing in their faith now. It’s never too early to start, and it’s rarely too late.
I promise this isn’t a commercial for Motion Conference. But I guess it could be. It will take place just a few days before the school year starts. It just might be the shot in the arm your teen needs to walk along the dark halls of their school and bring in the light this school year. It could change their lives, and they could change their generation for Christ. Need a place to start? Visit www.motionstudents.com