They’re watching

Recently, I had a God-filled conversation with a group of young people.

We talked about a lot of things related to our faith in God and what ministry is for a church and a youth group. It didn’t take long for the conversation to get around to some of the things a church should do to reach new people.

Praise God it didn’t take long!

For the sake of time, I can’t share everything with you. But there was one thing I couldn’t wait to tell you.

I asked this question: What’s 1 thing you (younger generation) can learn from the much older generation? The first response was “their passion and commitment.” The second response was similar.

What a reminder! Too many times I hear complaints about younger people. They’re always on their phone. They’re lazy. They don’t care.

I know young people better than that!

And I think it’s awesome that they notice the example of faith from people much older than them.

I have to specify “much older” because another comment came out in that discussion. “Not like people a little bit older than us, or like our parents’ age. They don’t go to church a whole lot. It’s the older people that are always here. You can tell it matters to them.”

Let me transition from that.

I love this next video. First, I love Toy Story. But the story behind the video is that 2 brothers who loved the movie spent 8 years creating a stop-motion recreation.

Check it out.

You might think that’s a long time to waste on a project like that. Maybe you’re right.

Then again, read the opening line from their movie:

8 years ago, two brothers set out to explore filmmaking by recreating their favorite film. The following is a product of that endeavor.

I’d like you to consider that this is a model of ministry for the church. A watching generation needs encouragement to take the story of Jesus and make it their own. Maybe how they do that is different, but the story is the story.

One thing I’ve heard from some young people is they don’t feel like they’re able to do that. Church really isn’t for them.

And then we wonder why they find other stories to tell.

Stay blessed…john

MUSIC MONDAY | No Pictures of Jesus

My favorite episode of my favorite TV Show is what this song is all about.

Remember that scene from Good Times when JJ painted a picture of black Jesus? Classic!

Does it matter what Jesus looked like?

I would say what matters is what Jesus looks like through you.

Check out this song: No Pictures of Jesus

Not used to listening to hip hop? Follow the lyrics:

Verse 1
I don’t care if Jesus is white or if he’s black
All I know is: Jesus is real and He’s coming back
Color’s just a tactic that people use to distract
But the Bible said “don’t argue with fools”, so I don’t react
Grew up in Catholic church taking communion with a smile
Been seeing pictures of white Jesus ever since I was a child
But then my Catholic priest got caught touching all over little guys
That messed me up when it happened, I was heartbroken inside
Momma went to the baptist church on the other side of street
I remember people catching a holy ghost, falling off their feet
They told me “Jesus was black”, the pastor said “that’s a fact”
Then the same pastor got fired for stealing money, that’s wack
I realized, everyone is crooked, everybody lies
When people think they gods, they devils in disguise
Peace and love to all my sisters and brothers, remember
Follow Jesus for his character, not for his color

Verse 2
Everybody chasing follows, that’s the new addiction
But won’t follow the survivor of the crucifixion
Pictures of Jesus just distract us from the fact
The message is the same, whether white or He’s black
That’s why our brethren of the faith Islamic
Don’t allow pictures of the prophet Muhammad
Peace be upon He, peace be upon we
How long will it take for all of us to see?
It’s all about what’s inside of the package
It’s everlasting, I don’t care how you wrap it
A gift’s a gift, his name uplifts
Make your worries disappear soon as it leaves your lips
Do not fear death, be not fret
What’s the promise made by the being that gave you breath?
So what’s left to fear?
You ain’t gotta go to heaven, but you can’t stay here

Stay blessed…john

MUSIC MONDAY | 21 Years

TobyMac is a Christian rapper. If you listen to Christian radio, you’ve heard his music at some point. He’s been around for a while.

Back in October, TobyMac’s son, Truett, passed away. He was 21 years old.

Recently, TobyMac released 21 Years as a tribute to Truett

Have a listen.

Have you dried your eyes yet?

I am sorry anytime anyone has to endure such a loss.

What I appreciate about TobyMac’s song is twofold.

First, listen to his honesty. He affirms God’s presence, but acknowledges his own pain and questions to God. Second, he weaves a part of the story of God seamlessly through his own. Yes, his loss is great. Still, he finds a connection to scripture that helps frame how he will move through such a loss.

Of course, TobyMac is an artist.

Most of us might not feel like we could ever produce anything like he can. But we can find our story within the stories of God in the Bible.

When we do, we learn just how significant having God’s word is.

Stay blessed…john