Saturday, June 03, 2006

Can HE Do That?

The doubters are already beginning to surface. As I have spoken often to people about my passion for Student Church Planting, one recurring response (or, at least a variant of it) that I get is, "Why? What in the world are you talking about? Youth can't plant churches." It just doesn't compute for some people. It doesn't fit into their preconceived notion of what Church Planting is or who Church Planters are. It's as if it is beyond our sovereign God's capabilities and will. I'm a bit perplexed, especially since these responses so often come from people "on the inside," the "missional" in-crowd.

I fear that those of us who consider ourselves to be "missional" have the unbridled potential to be just as closed-minded as the people caught up in the stagnant systems, programs, and methods that still (tragically) occupy so many of our churches. Somewhere in the process ... probably not consciously ... we reach the conclusion that our "missional" ideas are right, and everyone else is off track. Our way is the right way. If we didn't think of it (or if some hip, flavor-of-the-month author that we love doesn't think of it), then it cannot be relevant and cool. If it doesn't look and sound like us, or the things that we do, then it probably won't work.

I guess it's just old age or something, but the older I get the more simple my thinking becomes. In fact, the older I get, I find myself doing much less pondering, over-thinking, and self-indulgent self-defining. I guess I kind of know who I am now. I turn 41 in a few days. I had to shave off my goatee (too much gray). I wear the baggy "old fat guy" jeans now. I buy my sunglasses at the Dollar Tree (no more expensive ones ... in my senility I keep losing them). I find myself liking good old Folgers coffee more than the exotic African blends at Starbucks. Less pretense. Less exotica. A lot more practicality. A relatively simple life.

I no longer think of myself as immortal, like I used to when I was in my 20's. I know, with stark reality, that my days are numbered. In fact, by all statistical standards, I'm at least halfway to my heavenly home. But I still want to make a difference. I still have big dreams. I still want to leave my mark.

I choose to do that by teaching what little I know to this next generation. I know about loving people, I know how to share Jesus Christ, I know a lot about student ministry, and I know just a little about planting churches. So that's what I choose to pass on. I know that it will make a much greater difference than anything I could ever do on any web site, or through any blog, or at any Southern Baptist counter-current political meeting, or even at the annual thrill-packed Southern Baptist Convention.

So ... back to my original subject, since I have so blatantly digressed ... can students be taught to plant churches? Can God call them out as teen-agers to a lifetime of evangelism and Church Planting? Yes HE can. I have already seen Him do it. You can see it, too. One million Southern Baptist students are waiting to be mobilized ... looking for a direction. Check out our strategy at .


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