For a change, I want to write about something that has nothing to do with my job – or to say it another way, nothing to do with the job I get paid for.
As my bio says, I lead a group of young adults at my local church. It’s an honour and I’m delighted to be able to contribute to something that I feel makes a real difference.
During the London riots in August 2011, something that was widely reported was the extent to which the chaos was somehow being organised. Young people were looting and creating havoc, but the damage wasn’t random – there were people moving them about in cars, telling them which shops to raid, which streets to go down. These people weren’t in their 30’s and 40’s, they were in their 20’s.
I believe that with a group of passionate young adults you can truly change the world. They are able to lead and innovate, and have confidence to take responsibility for chasing after their dreams and desires.
This was proved all too true during the riots – without the twentysomethings, the police may have been able to contain and control the riots more quickly and London wouldn’t have been in turmoil for so long. They were leading – unfortunately, leading turmoil.
This made me ask myself something – if these young adults can do this, what could a group of young adults do if they were passionate and motivated about Jesus?
I’m honoured to be able to run this group – and frankly staggered at the opportunity it gives to change the town I live in. This isn’t an opportunity easily grasped, as it’s hard to get young adults motivated and involved. More often than not, church is viewed by this age group as something that is out of date and not relevant. But if it can be done, and I believe it can, then it will pay dividends to the church for decades.
That’s why, last week, I took a group of 20 young adults away on a weekend retreat. We had a fantastic time and watching them grow in God and experience His presence was sheer joy for me. Seeing them meet with the Holy Spirit and watching Him touch their lives was wonderful.
I’d had to give a lot to see this happen – I’d used a week of my leave to prepare, not to mention countless evenings after work and meetings with my team early on Saturday mornings. But in that room on the first evening, standing at the back of the room watching them worship God Almighty, it was all instantly worth it.
Sometimes work can take over our lives until we feel like we live for our employers. Sometimes we let it happen. We focus so much on our jobs that we lose track of the rest of the world.
Sometimes we’re too tired, too stressed, too busy, too distracted.
I’m guilty of every one of these, but over the last few weeks and months I’ve been able to focus on something other than work, and God has shown me what a joy it is to serve Him! Churches all over this world are in desperate need of people, and of time. They are searching for people to serve.
I can’t encourage you enough to give up some of your time to serve your church. Maybe you can only spare an hour a week – that’s more than enough. I believe I’m called to work where I work and I won’t stop doing that – but I believe I’m also called to work with young adults in my town, setting them on fire for God and His church.
Moses told the people to help him make the tabernacle (Exodus 35:10), and he asked for people with many different skills to come and help. It should be the same in the church – you just have to find what your skill is and where you fit.
God does something amazing with everything we give to Him. Maybe it’s 60 minutes, or maybe it’s £60, but somehow He turns it into something worth so much more. He uses our time, money and skills to change the lives of those around us. Perhaps you can give more of what you have today to others. Perhaps if we all gave up more of our time and money, we’d see the changes to this world we all long for.