Recently, despite my reluctance, I watched the movie Jesus Revolution. First, about the reluctance: It is because I have been disappointed by how Christianity has been portrayed, how Jesus is “sold,” and how movie makers have been trying to persuade people to believe in Jesus. However, I let curiosity get the better of me; I wanted to see what an actor like Kelsey Grammer was doing in a “faith-based film” and to check if it was wanting.
Jesus Revolution is a surprisingly well-made movie about a real-life phenomenon: the Evangelical Christian movement that occurred in the 1960’s and 70’s. Hippies were welcomed into a church in South California, which sparked the flame that started the Jesus Movement. The way Hippies were embracing Jesus and the spread of Christianity caught so much attention that it was described in The Times in 1971. The countercultural movement of the Hippies connected with the counterculture that is inherent in Jesus’ teachings: Acceptance of those on the margins. Hippies found healing and meaning in the church because the doors were opened to them.
I wonder about the youth and young adults of today. They are rarely seen in churches: I see them in the malls, pop concerts, sports arenas, and eateries, and–no matter where they are–on their cell phones. Like the Hippies back in the day, like any human being, they are searching for meaning, identity, and their place in the world. Adolescence is a time of exploration: They are discovering the world, their own developing bodies, their social status within their circles, their sphere of influence, what or whom to follow, and which path to take. What a crucial time this is! Like so many things that involve change, adolescence can be scary (while they have learned not to express it), vulnerable (while they may never show it), and miserable (while they might put on a brave face).
All to say: Our youth need the Church. They need a place, one where they belong, are accepted, and can turn to when life becomes turbulent. They need a place with good role models and mentors. They need love and peace, and for the wars in their minds to cease.
I hope Christ Church can be that place for our youth in Columbia. It is my hope and dream to see our youth become true Christ followers. I want them to know God and His eternal love, learn to trust Him, and rest in their belovedness with God. Nothing would make me happier than to see them lead others to Christ Jesus because of their own convictions. I sincerely hope we all pray towards this vision.
Will you join me?