29 05 2018

In Helping Others

Another week goes by and another school shooting is in the News. Kids are dealing with severe and serious anxiety at an alarming and sobering rate. Recess is no longer a safe place and more than fretting over this Friday’s math test, young people are worried about whether they are going to survive another semester. While this happens, our National Politicians are busy playing partisan games. 

I don’t believe that this problem would be solved by simply enforcing stricter gun control laws. In my humble opinion, I see the root of this pandemic buried in the fact that too many children are growing up unchecked and unloved, literally lost within ill equipped environments. In the modern era of promoting political correctness at all cost, we have foolishly bankrupted our society spiritually. The law of the jungle may be laid upon a foundation of self-centeredness and survival, but the golden rule taught us that as God’s creation we should love the Lord and others before ourselves. If we could be more proactive than reactive, we might just save a life or two along the way.

I always taught my children to fight for the underdog and keep an eye out for those who are being bullied and abused. I was a Youth Pastor for 15 years before I became the Senior Pastor of the Lighthouse Church 21 years ago. I challenged Young People to walk their talk when it came to the Faith they claimed to possess. This included looking out for those who were sitting alone in the cafeteria or stuck outside on the peripheral of the so-called “in crowd”. I coached our Kids to make eye contact with others as they walked through the hallways, offering smiles and a kind word when called upon. I wanted them to look for opportunities to build somebody up when the world was in a tear down mode and to never let anyone go unloved on their watch.

I am calling on Christians to set the example when it comes to putting skin to love. Many Churches always need volunteers to help in the Children and Youth Ministries. Adults have a tendency to want to relax while in the Sanctuary while somebody else takes care of their family. The problem is that because there are not enough Helpers to go around, too many Sunday School Classes are overcrowded and understaffed and we are missing a golden open door to being like Jesus in this chaotic and crazy era.

 I can’t tell you how many Little Ones just need some unconditional love and attention. They could use some boundaries and structure and human contact rather than more video based experiences. If I could change one aspect of our daily routines it would be enough with the staring at the screens already. I grew up in a different time when Families ate together at the Supper Table every night. Communing like this wasn’t just about eating our daily bread, but connecting heart to heart! If the culture won’t do it, maybe the Church can fill in the gap. I love hanging out with the Children at the Lighthouse Church. To many of them, I am like an adopted Grandfather who fills their empty cups with all the qualities that matter most. Babies need to be held and sung to in the nursery. Children need to know that they are loved and designed with purpose and power. If Mom and Dad are no longer there, then I believe God is calling us to plug the gap, and not just with baby sitting, but with honest to goodness tender loving care. I believe that with the right amount of godly attention, a future tragedy can be averted and a happier ending rewritten.

One of the goals that I champion as a Pastor is that I believe the Body of Christ should be cross generational. There are too may silo constructed Churches today where everyone is the same age and in the same boat with too much in common. As I read the New Testament, I read where those older should invest and mentor the younger. I also see that nobody should look down on the kids just because of their age. I believe there should be appreciation and understanding and respect for the differing Seasons of Life represented in any given Congregation. How can we get together if there are no avenues for the ages to intermingle? I love learning from our youth as I also teach them to look up and glean from me. My body may be almost 60 but  my heart is forever young; and just like Jesus proclaimed to let the Little Ones come to Him, I receive such joy when the kids dive bomb into my arms when they see me at The Lighthouse.

So as the Beaches in our area become flooded with swimmers, there are Life Guards on duty. Will you become a Rescuer of this Generation? Will you make the first move and reach out to that someone who may appear disinterested and unreachable? There are three things I pray daily in my own soul and they are that the Lord would rescue, redeem and restore me. Who in your sphere of influence needs a rescue? Is there somebody that God has allowed you to cross paths with that could use a Somebody to believe in them? And what if because of your willingness to risk the rejection to make a connection, you actually save lives along the way? It all begins with us! Now let’s get out and about pursuing to save a life! 



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