Saturday, March 23, 2013

What does politic's have to do with it?

I read an article that sited 80% of our Youth are leaving the church. Yes, I've seen this and been concerned about it since the 80's. This writer made it sound as simple as embracing the values of the "left" as a way to reconnect. Citing our churches are only for the upper middle class and Political Right.


 I so disagree. Maybe because I'm middle class? Maybe because, dare I say it, Republican? I see it differently. I see that we simply forget this - the simple reminder of Easter. The simple reflection of Christmas. The simple reminder of a basic man that came, cared, worked, and loved and left us with a different view of life. The reason we choose Christianity and the reason so many leave is because they can't keep up with the clicks. The social status that has evolved as Church. We want to learn. Like children crave love, routine and structure we as adults and Christians miss that in our churches. WE need to be welcomed, noticed, included, and put to use. Reach beyond the comfort of the few stars and look for those quietly sitting back wanting to be included. Or those bogged down so by life that they just need someone to listen, to care. That soul that walked in the doors with a desire to help but was a missed opportunity because when they offered their services they were politely and lovingly told "Oh, thank you! BUT, we all ready have our needs covered with our "regular" volunteers." and that soul just as easily walked out the door and went away. We need to look beyond our shiny and bright Cheerleaders of the church and give that quite soul in the back of the room a chance to serve. Look for someone unknown or new and give them the hug you normally reserve for your favorite Sunday "bestie". Stop that teenager that is quickly passing you by and let them know you were glad they came today. Walk that elderly forever faithful to their car and remember to mention that your available one day next week if they have any "honey do's" they need help with and REMEMBER that a Christian life does not end when we leave our sanctuary and enter back into day to day life.  Invite someone back that you noticed visiting for a first time. Take a lesson from your grandmother and pick up a card and drop it in the mail and remind that weary soul they are not alone and that you are thinking of them.

We need to remember that our church is not interested in the POLITICS. You can be Democrat, Republican, Independent or on the fence. At the end of the day you are still a CHRISTIAN. You are interested in the needs of this world. You are capable of rolling up your shirt sleeves and helping someone in need. You are going to stop the bully that is harassing the child on his walk home. You will pick up a couple of extra cans of food for the local food pantry because it's needed and because you are able to give a little back this week. If you don't have extra income you have time. You have ideas. You can choose to be involved. That is what Christ did. He wasn't much of a cheerleader but he had a large flock because he loved, cared and put people to work.  He didn't look for how great he was in this world. He didn't do it because it was politically correct for the day. He did it because it was a better choice, it was good. He definitely didn't do it because it was easy or full of glory. He left the glory for us. This politically right girl still believes our churches can be a place for all. That our teens, young adults and trendy cool families can find a place and so to can the poor, down trodden, struggling souls. That we can lift each other up and make a difference with simple steps, gestures and support. I don't need to shun my church. I don't need to walk away. I need to be there and make the difference where I'm planted and bring my teens with me along the way. Give them a chance to be in service not just entertained while they are there and create a memory in them and a lesson that they will remember and draw from when they are on their own.

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