The picture above is of "The Link" at Grace Community Church. There aren't many times that I'm in the Link and it looks like this. Typically it's loud, full of teenagers and adults. This, though, is what it looks like at 1pm on a Wednesday afternoon. As I was getting ready for our youth ministry tonight and setting some things up in the Link ... in the quietness and peace of the moment I just stopped and looked around. I stood there for a couple of minutes, reflecting and praying. During that time, a thought came to me:
This place was built for "them." Literally, under the foundation of this building, are names of teenagers and adults that we want to see come to know Jesus. Before this place was built, we took time to write the names of people we want to see come to know Jesus in the ground and on rocks and poured the foundation over those names. We are expecting those people to come. We are planning for them to come. We literally built this building on the "foundational" belief that people need to know Jesus and we can be a vital part of seeing that happen. Every Wednesday when our youth ministry meets, my prayer is that we will give teenagers a clear picture of who God is. I believe with all of my heart that God wants to make Himself recognizable through us. Teenagers and adults working together to make that happen can be a powerful force, especially when that force is powered Jesus. When we live as though Jesus lives in us, that stands out. That shines. That is attractive.
In the quietness of the moment, I was reminded of adults who lived that way in front of me and created in me a hunger for God. I was reminded of people who cared for me, invited me in to their home, took time to talk to me at church ... people who listened to me and corrected me and encouraged me ... people who, for whatever reason, strategically invested in my life. I am better because of it today and for that I am thankful. And, I'm thankful for the many adults we have that continue to do that very thing in the lives of teenagers in our church and community. I'm thankful for the teenagers who are doing that very thing in the lives of their peers at school and at axis.