Monday, April 26, 2010

[Lack of] Commitment to Jesus in a Culture of Non-Commitment

Commitment.  It doesn't seem to be a real popular action among college students... especially when it comes to Jesus.

And can we really blame them?

As a culture (both Christian and non) we've not done a very good job of modeling commitment to this younger generation.

In the media, we have promoted programming that displays all of the "fun" that can be had without committing to just one partner, but by keeping your "options open" and enjoying the disconnected physical pleasures with individuals (and/or groups) who are simply interested in meeting an immediate "need" without consideration for the long-term ramifications.

In the home, we shown them that the marriage union is one that can be easily broken if it gets too hard, no longer meets our needs, or simply looses its interest (I recognize this does not categorize all accounts of divorce).  Many of today's college students have experienced the harsh realities of divorce first-hand as they have witnessed the disintegration of their parent's marriage.  Right or wrong, students have lived through the pain of these break-ups and have been profoundly impacted by them.

In the Church, many students have experienced a "lackluster God" based on the lackluster faith commitments of those of us who show up for worship, week after week, without much of a commitment to true discipleship.  This is the commitment that is supposed to be above all others, that serves to shape all others, and yet too many seem to approach it with as much intention as we might a fourth or fifth date.

This is not good.

How can we communicate a life-long commitment to Jesus, to a student culture that doesn't have many good models for such a thing?

Even more important than communicating this commitment, how do we actually move our students towards a serious commitment to Jesus?  How do we convince them of their need to engage FULLY in the discipleship process?

Ultimately, I think the answer lies somewhere within those students who have already committed their lives to Christ and who are FULLY engaged in the journey of discipleship.  Truthfully, there's nothing more powerful than the testimony of a transformed life!

A genuine faith, fully lived out, is magnetic.

What do you think?

How have you seen students struggle to commit to Jesus?
Have you had to reframe students' understanding of what it means to commit to something?
What has been key for your students who have been able to commit to Jesus in a culture of non-commitment?

I'd love to learn from your insights!

Grace and peace.

[Take a second - in the sidebar on the right - to take this week's poll: What's the biggest issue facing graduating seniors?]