You have heard the wish expressed in a number of contexts: “I wish I could just bottle up some of this and sell it. If I could, I would be a very rich man.” My wish is not so much about economics, but about the richness of spirit churches so desperately need.
The substance I wish to bottle up? The infectious, and soul-stirring passion I witness in our youth. There is nothing more powerful in all of the world than to hear the collective voices of teenagers and children sing praises to the Lord. They do not let their voices become restrained by the inhibitions and apathy that challenge many adults. For our youth, such mentalities are the exception rather than the rule.
Our youth are not caught up in the “comfort zone” issues of our day. I speak of those issues that divide us from fellow believers in Christ, issues that spring from the murkiness of opinion rather than from the clearer contours of God’s direct words. For our youth, a vibrant, personal, and interconnected relationship with God trumps the mechanical, lifeless, do’s-and-don't’s brand of religious expression that so many of older generations pursue and promote.
May we let the words of Jesus guide us. He taught, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs” (Matthew 19.14).