Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Speaking to the Next Generation

This past week I had a very cool opportunity to speak at a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting at the University of Florida. Yes, it was very hard as a Tennessee fan to go to Gator Country, but if any place needs Jesus it’s Gainesville!! I kid: every place needs Jesus.

It was a great time to watch some students that I have known since they were in elementary school lead the summer program. They organized everything that happened and we had about 120 people at the event. It was exciting, energizing, and then sobering.

Crusade events are very fun. College students have a lot of life, energy and they love to laugh. I was having a great time until the moment I realized that I was almost twice as old as anyone else in the room. When did this happen? I have known for a while that I am no spring chicken anymore, but really!!!

As I spoke, I made mention of the fact that I was twenty years removed from there they are. I remembered how God worked through situations in my life in college to help me see things in a new perspective. I also remember that the lessons were not always learned easily and were very rarely learned the first time.

When I finished speaking, several students came and talked about stuff going on in their lives. One young lady shared about how she was trying to minister to some friends. One talked about how churches in his home town were dying and he felt God calling him to go make a difference. He also asked about seminaries where he could be trained for ministry.

What I realized through this time was that every conversation I had started with a question. Students were looking for answers and hoping that maybe I could help. This is the exciting part of having some life experience. You get to share what God has shown you to a new generation of leaders that God will use to carry on his mission throughout the world.

It is not so bad being the old guy when God allows you to have a platform to share and teach his love to those coming behind us. I love having opportunities to speak to young crowds. They are passionate, challenging, and motivating. I only wish I had possessed their passion when I was their age.

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