“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24 ESV)
This year the faculty of Grace University has been reading the book Marching off the Map: Inspire Students to Navigate a Brand New World, by Tim Elmore. The basic premise of the book is that faculty can’t effectively connect to the new students coming to us today using the same methods that were successful in the past. Mr. Elmore is suggesting that one must “think outside the box” in order to reach the technology savvy youth entering our campus doors. The book goes on to suggest new methods to use to effectively reach the minds of the next generation.
As I’ve read along with my colleagues, we have come to the conclusion that young people are searching for something stable and secure that they can hold on to. The youth are searching for meaning and purpose. These are not new struggles. We all have faced these when we were their age. So what is the answer?
I was not raised in a Christian home. When I was ten years old, my father died of a heart attack. As I entered my teenage years, I too struggled to find purpose in my life. Thankfully our loving heavenly Father rescued me and I surrendered my heart and life to Him. My pastor told me that I needed to start reading the Bible so that I could get grounded in the truth. That truth provides the foundation from which mankind will find meaning and purpose for living. It is this Truth that my fellow colleagues here at Grace, and all those seeking to please God, want to teach our students.
So how do we convey God’s message to the young people of today? How did Jesus do it? He was a masterful storyteller who captured the minds and hearts of His listeners using a variety of techniques, painting a picture in the minds of the people who heard Him. I want to imitate Jesus! I want to live my life in such a way that others will see Christ in me, the hope of glory. I’m not perfect and I will fail often in representing my Master, but as an ambassador of the King of kings and the Lord of lords, I will strive to live my life to honor Him in all that I do.
I want my life to reflect my Master. No matter where I am, no matter what job I am doing, no matter the people I am serving, I want to be the conduit that God can use so that He receives all the glory. My journey is not about me; it is about Him and reflecting Him so that when all of life is over and we all are standing in front of God, He receives the credit. Will you choose to serve Jesus this way?
Paul is the Library Director at Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska. He has been a member of ACL since 1997.