Dr. Andy Pate Jr.
The Orange Leader
In my church, many members have for years worked for the same company - or in a similar nearby industry - and have attended this same church while also having resided for decades in the same house where they raised their children.
Too bad it is that similar constants will likely escape many, if not most of today’s young families. For the one constant among them is that they seem always to be on the move. They’re here one morning and gone, almost literally, to somewhere else before sundown. They move from town to town, suburb to suburb and job to job faster than the time it takes for their friends and relatives to have learned their latest location.
And where is the church amid all this? Increasingly absent, that’s where it is.
The good news is that alert minds among today’s young folks understand the dangers of a world so rapidly changing; and they are doing their best to find and hold on to a faith-base for themselves and their loved ones. We pray them well.
No one can claim that any church is perfect. No member can claim that membership automatically bestows sainthood. But what a church can do is provide two essential elements for coping successfully when under fire: fellowship and friendship.
The people in my church who’ve shared so very much have no illusions about who they are. They know they are sinfully inclined. They are fully aware they have sometimes disagreed foolishly. And they have not forgotten what it’s like to have been unjustly hurt or to have inflicted the same. But this above all else: they are agreed, without observable exception, that they could never have made it as far as they have without their Christian community.
Some things from our past ought to be repeated time and again. Shouldn’t they?