For the last several years I have been overly active in the United Methodist Church. And when I say overly active I mean that I have been doing everything that I can to be involved and a part of the church each and every day. My heart feels called to serve the church; to reach the people that have yet to hear about how loved they are in any way that I can. However, doing that isn't as easy as one may think.
There are so many late nights and early mornings. From mission trips to church lock ins to even just staying up to prepare for worship the following morning. I spend an entire day just looking at resources for the message, and that doesn't include the other parts of worship. I've stayed up all night on mission trips and at lock ins to turn around and walk back into the world and go to my retail job. The one I remember the most was New Year's Eve working the day shift, staying up all night at the lock in, and then going back to work at 9 AM New Year's Day.
I love all that I do. Sure, there are days I am more frustrated with myself for trying to do any of it, let alone all of it. But I get lonely. And I don't mean lonely in that I work alone, but I mean lonely in that I am the youngest person in the people that are helping me figure out ministry and what it means. It's lonely because my heart is on fire for the social issues going on in our world, but all I hear concern of is our church and it's building. What is on the inside of our churches, and not what is on the outside.
When I get up on a Sunday morning there is a part of me that just wants to go back to sleep. Not because I am tired or because I stayed up to late, but because I just don't want to go and to listen people talk about the issues within our walls. I don't want to listen to people focus on themselves instead of the world.
I am not the only one that feels this way. I am not the only millennial that feels this way. We want tradition in our lives. I've heard of countless surveys taken by college students in which they choose the traditional option over the contemporary. But what we also want is to reach out and to care for the rest of the world just like you reached out and cared for us.
I've been focusing on Matthew 4:1-11 the last several days. It's kind of become my Lenten prayer. In verse 4 of the New Living Translation it says, But Jesus told him, "No! The scriptures say, 'People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Sure, we send out money to send food to other nations. Food or water or cleaning supplies; whatever they may need. But by just throwing a twenty into the offering plate, or by clicking the button that donates it for you, you aren't giving the one thing we really live off of. The word of God.
That is what we are looking for. For the proof of the Word of God that we live off of just like you showed us. We want to share it with the world. And many of us are. I love my traditional small town church. But it has shifted it's focus from the outside world, to the inside world.
My heart is empty. My spirit is tired. And I don't know that I can take another Sunday morning of sitting and listening to people worry and fret over the issues within the building itself. Yes, we need to be whole and healthy before we can reach out, but shouldn't we also be addressing an immediate need? Can't we share our voice? Because once we start, we will change the world.