Just a few days ago as I was exiting my local supermarket after picking up a few things, I failed to notice that the exit doors were NOT the automatic doors that open when someone comes near. I face-planted right into the glass door in front of several families that were coming into the store.
On my most recent trip that required me to fly, I ran into the bathroom in between flights. On my way out, I stopped to wash my hands and was furiously waving my hands in front of the sink for a solid 20 seconds before I realized that it was one of “those” sinks. I actually had to turn the faucet on with a handle. Who puts those in airports now? I’m not sure how many of my fellow travelers caught me waving my hands around before I exited the restroom.
Our world is full of conveniences. It seems that less and less is actually being required of me in so many aspects of life since there are gadgets and sensors that know exactly when I’m going to leave a room or will parallel park my car for me on a crowed city street.
However, some things aren’t meant to be convenient or easy. Convenience conveys the idea that I’m comfortable and have little concern for any cost that it may have on my life.
My concern is that we sometimes sell a cheapened version of following Jesus. When we follow Him, He may alter our plans. He may take us places that we never expected to go. He may give us hearts for people that we’ve never expected to have opportunities to interact with along our journey. And in the middle of all of that, following Jesus may not be convenient. But it’s worth every moment!
As young adult ministry leaders, we get to journey alongside young adults as they navigate what it looks like to be a genuine follower of Jesus. We can never say it’s easy, but we can encourage them to recognize the joy that is found in the middle of obedience.
Here are three reminders we can pass along to young adults about the cost of following Jesus.
1. Following Jesus requires deep faith.
This relationship that we have with Jesus is not an aspect of our life—it IS our life. There will be circumstances and happenings in life that rock us at our core, but because of a deep faith in following Jesus, we understand that He is our hope in the middle of a storm. There may be tough decisions to make along the way. Having a deep faith will help young adults navigate that path.
2. Following Jesus requires a love of studying the Scriptures.
There is no other place we can go to know and hear the heart of God more than a daily study of the Scriptures. This may mean getting up earlier before work or taking time throughout the day to dive into a reading of the Word of God so that we can hear from Him. The daily grind of life will bring young adults down if the study of the Scriptures is not a significant part of who they are.
3. Following Jesus means going to the hard places.
When young adults follow Jesus, it may mean that plans will change. Lifelong goals may be altered because of the transformation that happens as a result of this relationship with Christ. He says to “go.” And that “going” my mean to places on this earth that have never heard the Gospel. Or it might be across the street to the neighbor who has never been introduced to Jesus. Obedience is not convenient, but there’s peace in the middle of it.
We are obsessed in our culture with convenience and making things easier. However, as young adult ministry leaders, let’s never try to convince young adults that following Christ is convenient. Let’s make sure to demonstrate that following Christ is about a life of obedience.
Mark Whitt is the Collegiate and Young Adult Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. Before joining Lifeway, he spent many years on the campus of Murray State University as a campus minister. Connect with Mark via Twitter.