What is Faith³?
Faith Three means faith is threefold.
“I see myself worshiping with people who desire healthy and difficult conversations, who hold one another accountable, and distribute and receive grace as we interact with each other. A commitment to improving our habits, working to preserve and improve our spaces for the generations to come, is paramount.”
“If I have a ‘call story,’ this is it. In that moment, I realized that there was something about service that made profound sense to me, and the calm contentment it provided led me to explore the God leaders of the service trip had been talking about but that I had, until that point, ignored.”
“…my hope that through studying in Seminary I will find and avenue to care for God’s people [where I live]—not only pastorally, but also practically, even through something as simple as the shoes on their feet.”
“I see seminary as essential to my role in justice work. The church is called to be a prophetic voice and an agent of uplift for those on the margins and yet Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America.”
For the church to have a genuine relationship with young people, they must to feel as if they are being loved and cared for. Where young people don’t come to church, the church must go to young people. We must be there wherever they are and welcome them.
Young adults want to go out and change the world but fail to see that the church is interested in them or the causes they care about. There are few church programs that draw young adults into congregational life; particularly few are those which engage young adults who are involved in community service and social causes. They do not want to attend uninspired worship services or join narrow-minded Bible studies. If the church fails to capture the interest of young people, they will not invest their futures into her future.
For more information, visit the National Service Chaplaincy page.
Beyond offering pastoral care to those in crisis, how does the church make itself relevant to a generation hell-bent on “changing” the world? The tragedy is that this generation of young people fails to see how important the church has been in addressing and solving many of the issues about which they care most.
But the burden doesn’t just fall on their shoulders. Case in point: I have heard students ask, “Why can’t church be more like Habitat for Humanity?” What they don’t know and what we fail to tell them is that the first principle of Habitat’s mission statement is to “Demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ.” It isn’t about housing, or volunteering. It is about Jesus.
How can we be relevant? Support them in their passion to engage in the world. Young people should see that we are helping them find jobs, offering them housing, inviting them to a meal, having focused conversations and watching movies together, all with the underlying message that faith and service are connected.
How can you engage the world and explore and deepen your spiritual life?
The current leadership of the church has, for the most part, failed to aggressively identify and engage young adults who they think will be good candidates for ministry. Any efforts by denominational offices and seminaries to lift up ministry as a viable way of life are limited, isolated and, in most cases, uninspired.
And the culture of seminary life often fails to be vibrant or stimulating. Schools struggle with filling classes and thus fail to have a critical mass of students. Courses are often irrelevant to the challenges that clergy will face as they seek to create opportunities for community leadership and personal pastoral care. Even after choosing to attend seminary, there are many students for whom something must shift in order to keep him or her there.
Seminaries have an image problem. Many young adults would not consider attending seminary—or pursuing the ministry—because they do not see it as effective or relevant. There are, however, some great seminaries that are launching strong leaders for the future. Where are these seminaries? What are they doing to attract, retain and launch leaders?
The challenge for us is not limited to getting people to go to seminary. We must nurture a sustained effort to guide and train young adults who possess the right mix of knowledge, skills and interest in the world that will enable them to be powerful and effective in their life’s calling.
For more information visit Seminaries that Change the World.
How will you lead the world and the church?
How will you transform yourself and your community?