“One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” — Psalm 145:4
“The shot-clock is ticking.” I heard this phrase Monday as a passionate student pastor described his strategy for discipling young people. A former basketball player, this pastor found a great illustration in the shot-clock that ticks away on the court. The clock is completely indifferent to your team; it runs out whether you’ve been doing well or not. Such is the case with our young people. Whether we care for them well as a church, whether we disciple them well, whether we’ve prepared them for the world that awaits or not, there are eighteen years on that clock and then time is up.
The question we all need to be asking is what will our young people look like when that clock runs out. Will we have spent our time with them well? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself that question before but it is one that should be revisited often.
Imagine with me the ideal outcome for a young person being sent out from Eastern Hills. Imagine its mid-May and he/she is standing before the church being prayed for at the end of their high-school years. Maybe you watched this child grow up. You taught him in Sunday school. You were there when she first started asking questions about Jesus at VBS. You celebrated with great joy on the day he was baptized. Now the shot-clock has run out. What kind of person do you want that teenager to be? I know the answer, I think. You want that young man/woman to be completely sold-out to the Lord. You want him to be passionate about taking the gospel to the nations. You want her to dedicate herself to a career that will allow her to serve others sacrificially. You want them to be so satisfied in God’s glory that they will go wherever He asks them to go, do whatever He asks them to do, give whatever He asks them to give. When that clock hits zero, you want to send out a real Christian. Me too!
So, we begin with the end in mind. Pastor Greg, Pastor Jeff, and I received some great training on how to do what we can to send out God-honoring, Christ-exalting young people from Eastern Hills. We are reverse engineering the process. We know the end result we’d like to see and we are figuring out how to get there. We’re excited about the future of our young people and we believe God wants to use you to help them grow! Please be in prayer for them. Please give them words of encouragement whenever you can. Please consider ways you can contribute to a favorable outcome for our students. Think hard on Psalm 145:4, and may the Lord use this church to build up the next generation!