A few years ago, I attended the Orange Conference in Atlanta. During one of the sessions, they brought a couple of teenagers up on stage, and Reggie Joiner, the moderator, asked them to explain a number of ordinary sayings -- things like "opening up a can of worms," "now the shoe is on the other foot," and "that's a horse of a different color." The teenagers had no clue what they meant.

Then they brought a few older adults up on stage. They asked them to explain some of the abbreviations that teenagers use when texting. Things like LOL (laugh out loud), OMG (oh my God), JK (just kidding), BRB (be right back), and WRUD (what are you doing). The older adults could only decipher one or two!

The point was that different generations have different ways of communicating. Most students who entered college this year were born in 2003 or 2004. As far as they are concerned, control/alt/delete is as basic as A-B-C. "Automatic" is a weapon, not a transmission. They never knew there was a car manufacturer named Datsun. They've always had a personal PIN number all their lives.

It's not their fault that college students don't know these things; they're simply reflecting their culture and the world in which they live. Culture often has a short memory about even the deepest of things: history, politics, economics, but most of all, spiritual things. Simply put, this is why the world still needs the church.

We still live in a searching world, filled with faces that have names and families. People who have souls and spirits, and who face an eternity. All around us are people who are longing for spiritual truth, longing for spiritual fulfillment. Though we always seek new and different ways to communicate it, we can never lose sight of what matters most which is people with eternity before them, facing the reality that they are going to spend eternity somewhere.

We truly are on a search and rescue mission at Imagine Church. For people who are dying spiritually, there is a cure, and it's Jesus Christ. It's why we can never turn inward. We can never keep what we know of Christ solely to ourselves, but instead we must make it known to the entire world. The cause of Christ is about a person who is open to spiritual things, who is interested in spiritual things, who is wanting to find the answer, who is hoping to be rescued, but who needs somebody to help.

Jesus says, "Would you be that help? Would you do that?" And his strategy was this: his strategy was the church.

 

In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Bruce Jones, Pastor and Co-Creator,
Imagine Church of the Carolinas

 

A Search and Rescue Mission

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