I'm live blogging this week from the Orange Conference in Atlanta. (To check out Orange and what it means, go to www.whatisorange.org) There is no other ministry that has affected my leadership and my parenting as much as Orange. To be able to gather with 6,000 other leaders this week and "Think Orange" is just amazing.
Walking through the exhibit hall tonight and all it's outstanding displays (like seriously, so creative! Love all the chalkboard graphic design), I came across one that almost moved me to tears. A big wall of yarn art, with large letters.
SAY YES TO THE NEXT GENERATION.
Wow. What a statement. What a goal to live by. I think often it's easy to be comfortable with what we know. What we believe. What we have been taught. Those things become absolutes in our life, and sometimes we don't make room for change. We don't allow for those behind us, that next generation to have a chance or a voice. Often our answer is no, before we even consider a yes.
There is a generation waiting for yes.
Yes we will love you
Yes we will give you a chance
Yes we will let you lead
Yes we will listen
Yes the world is a crazy place
Yes we will embrace your imperfections
Yes we will walk through the mess with you
Yes we will let you ask questions
So many things we can say yes to.
Reggie Joiner is one of my favorite leader's and he was so authentic and transparent as he spoke about tension. One of the things he said that resonated with me was that "Kids need to process their own doubt to own their own faith." I love that. We see a generation of kids walking away from God because often we have not allowed them to explore and ask the questions. We expect them to live a life with no process, all absolutes. It's hard to live in that world; it's hard to reconcile your faith that way.
We can say yes to these tensions -
You can know God, but he is still a mystery
The Bible is true, but everything true about life is not in the Bible
Trust leads to stronger faith, but doubt can lead to stronger faith too
Beliefs matter, but people matter too
God has an ideal, but he still uses broken people
I've never really thought too much about it, but we need these tensions. We don't need to be afraid of them. They are what make our faith real. They are the tensions our kids are facing and struggling through.
We can't always say no.
Say YES to the next generation.