Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb 13:8 NIV
Jesus may be the same yesterday and today and forever but generations and ways of reaching each generation changes. I thought I kept up – after all, I travel the country talking with all kinds of people from various cultures, races, and religions. When potential publishers ask what age group I target, I’ve never been able to come up with an age that I best reach. Children, young people, and adults all read my blogs. I lead all ages to Christ. The name of my Ministries os Pocket Full of Change Ministries. How could I be out of touch?
It all started when I read in the State College newspaper that most college freshman can’t read cursive. I had no idea. I was so upset that I wrote about it on Facebook. For days, I was stunned. Because I want people to be able to read what I write, I haven’t written in cursive for years so it wasn’t that I thought cursive was so important. I was more stunned that I didn’t know cursive was going the way of vinyl records, phone booths, and hand written letters.
Next, Bob took me out for my 58th birthday. Perhaps, I wouldn’t have been so sensitive if it hadn’t have been my birthday, but it was and I was.
First, the college-aged hostess said, “I love your dress.”
“Really,” I said, beaming that a younger person liked my clothes.
“Yes,” she said. “We were all talking about how much we like your dress. We like your earrings too.”
“The earrings were my birthday present. My daddy says this dress looks like something Endora from Bewitched would wear.”
The hostess stared at me blankly.
“Cheryle,” Bob whispered. “I don’t think she’s ever watched that TV show.”
“Wow,” I said. “You should look for it on reruns. It is a fun show.”
Then we went to the movie theater and stared at the choices. Most movies in State College are geared towards the student population and don’t appeal to me. We narrowed it down to 2. I overheard several giggling college freshman discussing the merits of one of the movies we were considering.
“So you liked it?” I asked.
“We did,” a young girl said. “It was funny.” No one seemed to mind that I’d butted into to their conversation.
“I don’t like slap-stick,” I said. “It makes me cringe. That movie looked like it has a lot of slap-stick humor in it. Does it?”
“You know,” I answered. “Like in the Three Stooges.”
Another blank look.
Cheryle, the teacher, came to life. “Slap-stick is a form of humor where you laugh at people getting hurt. The pain is usually exaggerated and I don’t get that type of humor.”
“Like this,” one of the girls said, hitting her friend.
“Exactly,” I laughed. “Show us again.”
“I don’t think the movie had any slap-stick,” said the girl dodging the second hit.
Bob and went to the movie. Slap-stick was in the very first scene and continued throughout the entire movie. I shuddered and cringed between laughing. I left feeling old, out of touch, and like a poor communicator.
This will not do. God sent me to State College and since I live there, I need to be able to minister there. I’m in a church that reaches college students and I want to serve my church. Jesus and the message of Jesus may be the same but ways of delivering that message change. I need your help.
To share an unchanging Jesus, I have to be willing to change. I’m already willing to worship where the music and worship style maybe not be my favorite but are more effective in reaching people for Christ. What else do I need to change to minister in a community comprised mainly of college students? What moves and TV shows should I watch to know what they are talking about? What expressions should I use so they will understand me? What doesn’t work because it offends so deeply that they stop listening? I’m not going to wear short skirts or pierce anything that isn’t already pierced. I might dream about a butterfly tattoo but it isn’t going happen. However, I’d even take feedback on dressing in ways where I can still be me and not make clothing a barrier for sharing an unchanging Jesus in a changing world. It will be hard but I might even consider wearing less makeup. I’d love your feedback.