We just spent an entire weekend with Under1 Student Ministries on a retreat that we called “Be the Change” where we challenged students to realize that change is going to happen all the time and our job is to decide how we are going to respond for the Kingdom of God. We talked about how we will buckle under the pressure of standing before a crossroads of our faith if we follow Jesus for any other reason than who He is. We talked about how to be the change at home, living by a standard of a world that has yet to come. We talked about courage. Being courageous witnesses for Jesus. Of course the students were all fired up and ready to go and do what they felt God was leading them to do. I’ve been so proud to watch them at work this week.
Irony. Good ole’ irony. I found myself staring change right in the face as soon as we came home from the retreat. I found myself at a crossroads of my faith. I found myself asking “what are You doing with all of this God?” While a lot of times I think I’m the messenger in regards to delivering messages to students, lately I’m realizing I am the recipient. I now find myself, staring potential change in the face, with a choice of how to respond.
The bottom line is that when things change we all have a choice. We can mope, complain, argue, freak out or simply embrace the change. Standing here on the potential dawn of change in my life, I choose to embrace the change. I choose to TRUST God and believe it when I say, “I know God knows what He’s doing.”
While change can sidetrack us, it’s important to focus on what is right in front of us. Today, I am so thankful for a God who never changes. I am so thankful for my wife who supports me without hesitation and loves me unconditionally. I find myself smiling uncontrollably when thinking about what God is doing at Under1 Student Ministries and at Connection Church.
Change can be scary. The element of the unknown can be intimidating. But walking by faith is the greatest excitement this life will ever hold for us and that means we must expect change and embrace the element of the unknown. These things are no longer scary or intimidating. They are consumed by excitement and great anticipation in the presence of a righteous, just and Holy God. Therefore, change brings excitements and great anticipation…that’s good news today.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Christianity can be imitated. It’s religion. But a lifestyle of surrender that follows Jesus Christ will reveal true character. There is a difference.
Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, [my]__________, Tumblr, YouTube, Skype, Vimeo, (anyone still have a LiveJournal?): all these different forms of Social Media and Social Networking available at the click of a button. Connecting and communicating with people has never been so easy! In the same breath, it has never been so easy to damage our credibility as a witness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is very easy to express our opinion on matters that maybe we wouldn’t in person. It becomes very easy to utilize these social networking tools as free therapy sessions. It becomes so easy to post something sarcastic, flippant and sometimes impulsive when in person we’d think through that comment slightly longer before throwing it out there.
While it’s easier to share our opinion and thoughts on topics and issues it has also become easier to put a virtual foot in our mouths. The God that created the Heavens and the Earth has called us to SHINE and be people who bring the Gospel to the farthest, darkest corners of this world. The darkest corner nowadays? The world wide web. We become different people online. We act differently. We speak differently. The thing that remains constant is the reality of who we represent. Every time we tweet, post a status on Facebook and blog we are representing the Savior of the world.
Sharing the Gospel, telling people about Christ was once an intimidating face to face thing. We began this series and South East Michigan Initiative labeled E.A.C.H. (Everyone A Chance to Hear) yesterday at Connection Church. We talked about the struggles and realities of sharing our faith with people. It can be so intimidating to walk up to someone and share our faith yet when we “log in,” we have no issues acting out as our emotions and feelings direct us.
It’s easier than ever to plant small seeds in the world around us by letting people into our lives and allowing them to “see” how faithful and steadfast God is all the time. But it’s also easier than ever to put a poor perception in someone’s head about Jesus. You know. The “poopy diaper face” look. That look of “what? I can’t believe they posted that!? And they are supposed to be a Christian.”
We’re under a microscope all the time. We don’t need to be posting scriptures and tweeting our prayers to God all the time but maybe we need a social media accountability partner who reviews our posts daily and has the freedom to speak into our lives to say, “dude. You sound incredibly arrogant and snotty in that Facebook Status. You might want to delete that.”
That’s the great thing with presenting our lives via Social Media: There’s always a delete option. Tweet away friends. Tumbl and update your facebook status one hundred times in a day. But remember, “they’re” watching. What kind of Gospel presentation is your social networking presenting?