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So you say you're not a preacher, a minister, or in full-time ministry—what can you do? It's time for us to quit thinking that the only people who can really do something to make a difference are paid ministers.

It's time for us to look at our whole church and see that it should be a hospital for a whole generation. The hurting young people in your community should never have to look any further than you for acceptance, love, hope, or family for the rest of their lives.

Hospitals treat every kind of sickness you can imagine, and this generation has about every kind of sickness you can imagine. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to love someone, but you can make a difference. You can care for them, you can love them, you can invite them to dinner, and you can invite them to your church. You can reach out to them.

Marilyn Manson is a satanic rock and roller who prides himself that on his web page young people can invite "Marilyn Manson" into their hearts. He'll send them a Marilyn Manson birth certificate stating that they've been born again into the Marilyn Manson family.

Sadly, millions of young people have already done this out of the desire for a family and the desire to belong.

Once a young person finds you, they should never have to look to a gang or to someone like Marilyn Manson to find love and acceptance. We, the body of Christ, ought to be the ones wrapping our arms around these young people, letting them know we love them and God loves them.

Maybe you can't think of any young people to reach out to, but what about the teenager who bags your groceries? What about the young people who are friends of your teenagers or who live down the street?

Are they being brought up in a Christian home with parents who love one another? Are they fully embraced by an older generation? It's time for us to say, "We'll be the parents and the godly, upright leaders you can look to."

If you are a parent, there are probably kids in your own church whose parents either are not Christians or are divorced. These kids need someone to look up to, someone who will reach out to them and see all that this society has stolen - the opportunity for real life from this generation.

We need to be the ones to say, "Whether your youth pastor, parents, or other adults in society have let you down, we will fill in that gap. We are here to make up the difference."

How long do you think it would take to reach all the young people in your community if everyone in your church saw themselves as a vital part of the hospital staff? It's not only the youth pastor's job or the pastor's job; it's also our job as Christians.

What would happen if the size of your youth group doubled or tripled every year, not because of what the youth pastor was doing, but because the people in the church were bringing young people into the church? They were reaching out to them, taking them out to lunch after church, spending time with them on weekends, and being the pied piper to love them back to Christ.

Source: Turning The Hearts Of The Fathers compiled by Ron Luce.
Excerpt permission granted by Albury Publishing

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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

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