• Chriselle Lees-Thomas

What Now?

Ahh, millennials... the generation who've been taught to live their dream but don't want to work hard for it. Or so we're told. Chriselle responds to her thoughts of this discussion in the context of stewardship, a topic we've been covering a church over the last week.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve really been into self-discovery: personalities, strengths, background, roots. In particular, generational research perplexed me, almost justifying why I’m naturally inward focused; it encompasses that classic stereotype of a self-centered millennial. By the grace of God I am ever so thankful that my label belongs to Him. But what does it really mean to be a radical Christian at my age? And how can I do that?


I’ve been surprised, encouraged, entertained, and annoyed in different views on my generation, often offended in being considered uncommitted, individualistic, and entitled. Particularly, it hit me in a post I read this week from Shelley Giglio, wife of famous preacher Louie Giglio. It read,


Handing stuff off to the next generation is definitely a challenge at times for us older folk. However, it’s also that sometimes the younger generation doesn’t want the sleepless nights, countless hours invested, inconveniences, personal challenges, required faith, depth of personal prayer, and intimacy with the Father in a dark room that is required to lead. Look, if it were easy we would give it more readily I think. Leading is not a joke and takes honing of heart and skills. If you haven’t been handed what your dream will hold, use your time wisely to prepare yourself. Once the stewardship is in your hands, you will be more than grateful.


It’s interesting isn’t it? The focus seems to be on doing. Yet the gospel Jesus preaches says whoever is willing, not based on acts or religious routine, and instead based on the heart (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Jesus in His almighty power gave all of His worship and all of His glory to the Father. Because, in fact, I am doing those sleepless nights, having huge inconveniences, and personal challenges - more so now that I work in ministry than ever before. The difference is absolutely in where my heart is within all of those doing things. In fact, Jesus says Himself the greatest things we can do are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and love others (Mark 12:29). We’re the ones who complicate what that looks like.


Above Shelley mentions stewardship. And very timely, we have been talking about that this last week in our believe series. Stewardship is the act of overseeing, looking after, caring for and protecting. In Tribe (our intermediates programme) we had Andrew speaking to us about this. His main points were: stewardship is about more than giving money and includes the giving of our gifts, talents, possession, etc., and it is about the heart we have behind giving.


Nothing we have is ours. Nothing we have is ours. And I believe that it is not only incredibly freeing but incredibly exciting! Doing what you can with what you have - in your money, your job, your relationships. What a difference it would make if we lived like this. This difference is that we don’t. We count our time, we secure our money, we store our things. For what? The kingdom of heaven? Surely not.


We have been gifted a beautiful thing to be alive today. Particularly my generation has the most accessible resources than ever before, growing up in the age of information sharing, having almost anything at our finger tips. Although, we are not sold on a system and the things this world gives us. But we have duty to share that with others. Living with our hands open, knowing that we hold loosely onto the things we are given, but we manage those with the best intention and love that we can.


"I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open… there’s nothing I’ll hold onto." Will Reagan and United Pursuit

With that, we shall shepherd well. Knowing that what we have is in season and what we do with that is an absolute privilege and a gift from God that we get to be a part of His bigger story.


So what does it mean for this generation? It means it’s not about age. The gospel is so much bigger than the frustration we have with understanding each other. And Jesus knows what it was like to be a 20 something. As do all of the generations above us. It surpasses us. But we can be the difference and show that, just like any other age group, we are capable of doing world and life changing things in the name of Jesus.


Knowing the fundamentals of who we are helps us to be those shepherds. It really comes down to two things. Purpose and belonging. Who am I and what is my purpose? Sure they have simple answers too - I am a child of God and my purpose is to love God and love others. Love. Love. And love. Yes I am a 22 year old young woman. But first I am His. So with His name, I have no boundaries.


Take Timothy for example. Following and working alongside Paul, he was appointed to lead a church in the city of Ephesus at a remarkably young age for the time. He is an incredible example of what it means to be a follower of Christ as a young person. In Paul’s first letter to Timothy on instructions for leading a church he says, “Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).


A friend of mine said to me the other day - if no one is arguing with you, you’re not doing anything different. I feel like that’s what it is to be a radical Christian. To challenge; to pursue, to love, to seek, to never stop honouring the name of Jesus in everything we do and every single part of who we are. The question is, are we ready?


Chriselle is currently studying a social work degree at Massey University. She works as Intermediate Ministry Coordinator and in the Creative Department at Windsor Park Baptist Church. Contact her at chrisellekarah@gmail.com.


Get involved. Kōrero with us. Contact us at rhythmbloginfo@gmail.com or check us out on Instagram @rhythmblog. We are RHYTHM. We are His. //

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