Where are the Becky Waldrups and Chris Lieu’s? And how about Todd Abernathy? When I served in a church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, these college students were a part of our church. The thing that stood out about them was, they didn’t just attend occasionally. In fact, they joined our church and got involved. All three of these students made a major impact in the lives of my two kids. Jolee and Andrew were teenagers at the time and these three UNC students invested in them. Becky was the Youth Minister and was always seeking ways to engage my kids. She even went as far as coming over to our house and watching the season premiere of “90210″ (or was it “Melrose Place?”) with our daughter. She was willing to meet Jolee where she was. Chris and Todd were constant chaperones for youth events. Chris was premed and Todd was finishing up a degree, looking forward to a career in chiropractic medicine. Neither of these guys were preparing for vocational ministries. They weren’t filling service hour requirements or internships. They were just a couple of guys willing to give up time from their studies and the college scene to invest in the lives of some random teenagers. I thank God for these students.
How I long to meet more of the same. Now days, it seems I can barely get a college student to visit our church now and then, in between a mulitude of other activities. Rarely will I meet a college student who considers joining our church, much less get involved. The trend seems to be going to the trendy, hip churches and being a spectator. Now I don’t want to sound like sour grapes, and I’m sure if I were a college student I would be doing the same. But I just hope that these college students and young adults will not forget about those who invested in their young lives. I hope and pray that they will remember the sacrifice that Christ made for them in order for them to experience the abundant life they are living. I pray that they will discover much sooner than I did, what a joy it is to be a part of the local church, sharing and serving one another. Young and old, rich and poor, we all have something to contribute. As great as it may feel to hang with all young, hip, well dressed congregations, I believe that they would gain much from hanging around old, wise, men and women who have served the Lord for decades.
So thanks, Becky, Chris and Todd! May your tribe increase!