At Live Youth Church we’ve been teaching a series entitled, “The I <3 Project,” throughout it we’ve been coming back to these words Jesus said:
“This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” (John 13.34-35, Message)
Jesus is reminding us that our identifying mark to the world at large is our love.
It is NOT our:
Or even the causes we support.
According to Jesus we will be known by our L-O-V-E.
This has been helping me reexamine what we do and how we operate our youth ministry.
Do we provide settings in which students can connect with and love God?
Are our students truly loving others? Their parents? Teachers? Classmates?
Do we really love people? Even if they disagree with us?
All of this has led me to ask this classic pastoral question:
If our church disappeared overnight and was no more, would our community even notice?
Are we known to our community for what we give or what we take?
Are we known for what we stand for or what we’re against?
Does our church add value to the people, schools, and community?
Is our community better because we’re here?
I sure hope so. I want it to be that way. I want to make sure all of our students understand that our role is to bless and not curse. Add value not deplete it. To love our community, not be it’s adversary.
We are supposed to be marked, identified, and recognized by our love. According to Jesus it’s to be the tangible evidence (proof) that we belong to Him.
So, this summer, that’s what we’re going to do. We will love through service.
Clean up days.
Serving meals to the homeless.
Giving away backpacks.
Whatever it takes, our community will know we love them.