Sometimes it’s right there in front of you. Or beside you. Even behind you. Across the road maybe? Whatever…I’m not your real mum.
When we take seriously the call of Jesus in the great commission (Matt 28) to go into all the world and make disciples, it’s our direct and personal invitation to participate in God’s mission already at work around us.
That’s right – we don’t bring Jesus with us when we go. He’s already at work in the place ahead of us. Changing lives, influencing people. He should have deals on instagram.
It can be very difficult to understand where and how we engage in mission with young people when we don’t first stop and remember what it was like to be a young person.
Sure, things have likely changed, however there are many commonalities that you might identify:
- Finding a life partner
- Issues facing the community you live in
- Concerns about career, housing affordability, and other money worries
- Making a difference in the world
- Where do you fit in the grand scheme of life (and what are you supposed to do?)
How young adults are concerned with these issues, and the depth to which they’ve considered them, might surprise you. Having a conversation with them about issue of mental health or climate change or buying your first house will give you great insight into their lives, and also give you a chance to empathize with today’s young people in a way that will make a real difference to them. A life-changing difference.
Prioritising ministry with young people like this can change both how you relate to them, and how welcome they feel in your church.
So, take a moment.
Think about the young people in your church and in your community, and ask yourself what it means to empathize with them. Step into their shoes and get to understand what it means to be a young person today.
Use this as a chance to engage in what God is already doing in their lives. Your conversation and care might even help them see that Jesus is at work, and that they are valuable and loved.
That’s an incredible step into engaging deeper in God’s mission.
Molk is the Senior Field Officer (North), and Young Adult ministry leader as a part of the PULSE team.