My concern as a pastor – Three things I’m struggling with and I invite you to join me!

I am concerned.  I notice trends, and try not to react to specific things.  After reflecting on some trends, here are a few things that concern me.

1.  We are a culture that is very consumed with ourselves.  

Here is an article that describes it way better than I ever could.  

I am concerned that we first think about what we want, how we’ll look, what our reaction is, how we would do it . . . BEFORE we ask what God thinks.  This is a huge problem and I encourage every leader, parent, young person, and elderly to really commit some time to think about how we think.  Do we have structures in place where we are able to put others before ourselves in humble service? Can we respond to criticism well or are we overly defensive?  This is a HUGE concern for me personally, and for anyone I know and love.

2. We are too easily discouraged by the news.

Sometimes I listen to Christians talk and I get dragged down by how negative people think.  I’m not saying violence, international warfare, and decaying society aren’t troubling (they are!) but I truly think a lot of people would do well to stop watching the news as much.  It’s never going to be encouraging.  People determine what the news is by the ratings they think they’ll get.  Look online for your news.  Control how much time you spend wrapped up in the story of the day. Spend a little time being informed, and spend more time informing others . . . 

. . . of the good news of Jesus!  In how you speak, act, pray, show that Jesus is good news.  I encourage you to think, specifically, about how you come across and whether or not your hope in Christ shows through what you do and say.

3. We are unsure how to handle the day and age in which we live.

There are dilemmas we face now that we simply did not fact 10 years ago when I began in youth ministry.  Parents didn’t have to think about at what age their kids should join Facebook.  No one ever thought about whether they should delete instant message conversations.  No one sought out to destroy face to face communication by making communication faster (internet and texting), but that’s clearly what’s happened.  

I am concerned we don’t know how to navigate this world, and I’m concerned that less personal communication is only going to make things worse.  I pray for this generation who’d rather text than call or meet.  How will work ever get done in 10 years when people are entering (and managing) the workforce who lack basic communication skills.

I see this already and I can’t imagine it will improve.

In closing . . . 

All this to say. . . I’m concerned.  Take a step back.  Have some good discussions with friends.  Set limits for your kids when it comes to technology and media (and keep those limits).  Pray like crazy.  Be a person of influence, not a person who wants everyone to know about you.  Be someone who wants everyone to know about God, and interact in this ever-changing world with that motive first.

Have a great weekend.  Be challenged.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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