Some people want it to happen,
Some people hope it happens,
Some people pray it happen,
Some people make it happen!
Now I don't want you to think that I am saying that prayer is not effective, for I know that this is not the case; what I am saying is this:
All too often I meet people who have either identified or been made aware of a need and their first response is to say, "Oh, let's pray about it." Then, having dutifully prayed, they consider their part done and sit back waiting to see how God is going to do it.
I encounter far too many people who are'concerned' but are not engaged. They clearly see a need and are willing to talk about it to whoever will lsiten at the time (and do the same with God) but do not examine their church to see how it can be made effective and welcoming. They ask the questions and bemoan the fact that 'nobody is doing anything about it' and drone endlessly on about how the need is 'never' met and how they hope that one day someone will wake up and do something.
Meanwhile God looks at the situation and wonders why one earth those people who can see the need keep asking Him to do something when he's already 'something' through the Cross of the Christ and the enabling of His Holy Spirit. What He needs is for those who are asking to do the something He's asked them to do in response!
Today we are praying for 'New Generations' and this is fantastic.
But are we opening our doors to them and seeking to reach them with an old and established message in ways that are culturally and linguistically effective?
Is inculturation something we are considering?
Are we putting on Kid's Clubs and other events that will bring the 'New generations' through our doors and into relationship with us?
Can I commend Lichfield's 'Reaching New Generations' document as something worthwhile to read on this issue? (click on the words and it will download)
We will reach new generations when we leave the comfort and security of our church buildings and get out where the 'new generations' are and engage with them, putting aside the tosh that you need to be young to be effective with them, in ways that break down the barriers that false opinions and attitudes create; by seeking to find the image of the invisible God in them and leading them into a place where they can see God's hand is already on them and His Spirit working through (in, and on) them too!
Please pray this prayer sometime today (and them resolve to make rather than want or hope):
Almighty God and loving heavenly Father
Thank you for calling us by name and welcoming us into your family
Help us to reach out to new generations
so that children and young people
may find their identity as your daughters and sons.
Bless all churches and individuals meeting for prayer today;
Give us vision, faith and hope
that your kingdom may come in our Diocese
and your will be done in and through our lives. Amen