NEXT!

The message last weekend focused on reaching the next generation.  You may be asking yourself, “How can I connect with that generation?”

The first step is to ACCEPT them unconditionally.  The younger generation may dress different, look different, and think different than you do.  The Bible says:

 Honor God by accepting each other, as Christ has accepted you.”  Romans 15:7 (CEV)

Showing God’s love is honoring to God.  Serving God’s people is the same as serving God.  Loving and serving others is worship to God.  Worship brings glory to God.  This is one of the five purposes of the Christian life…to live for God’s pleasure.

As you pursue a connection with the next generation and accept them unconditionally, it’s important to realize that acceptance is not approval.  It’s unrealistic to expect someone to change their thoughts or behaviors before they feel accepted by you.  Let’s consider our own journey in faith.  It’s likely you didn’t change before Christ grabbed a hold of your heart.  Be encouraged – an encounter with God and receiving Jesus as Savior causes people to change.  In the meantime, focus on connecting with the next generation, not changing them.

One last caution from the Bible:

“My friends, you are spiritual. So if someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path. But watch out, and don’t be tempted yourself.”  Galatians 6:1 (CEV)

Be careful that you are leading them to Christ and not falling away from Christ.  Be prayerful in every encounter.

PRAY:  Dear God, this may be a hard step to take.  You are challenging us to reach out to people whom we may have nothing in common with.  The differences may be huge.  Help us to embrace the challenge to impact the next generation.  Help us to accept different people unconditionally.  Remind us Lord that people change and grow when they know Jesus.  Thank you for changing and growing me.  In Jesus’ name. Amen