October 31–November 5, 2011
No matter how well it’s done, Institutional Christianity will always produce challenges for our young people. Fletcher Academy does a great job educating its students. However, statistically speaking, those who graduate from our academies and universities still leave in droves and never look back. So when I received the invitation to spend some time at Fletcher Academy in Fletcher, NC, I was not going to say no.
Over the course of 1 week, I gave 11 presentations and was invited to teach 9 Bible classes. In my free time, I counseled students individually from 9 AM until 5 PM Monday through Friday. (I’m still in dialogue with some of these students via cell phone, e-mail and Facebook.) I love young people, and I had one shot at impacting how they see God. I pushed myself to the limit to do as much as possible to make that happen. Honestly, right now I’m just recovering from losing my voice from pushing so hard the last three weeks. I want to thank the faculty at Fletcher Academy for dedicating this time in your busy schedule for your students. It says volumes about your desire to intellectually educate the next generation as well as equip them to want to follow Jesus.
I opened my cell phone up to the students for them to text me questions throughout the week. At each presentation, we answered a few questions. We ended the entire week with one grand free-for-all Q and A Session. The questions were probing questions and showed a true passion to understand some of the real issues that following God and believing He really is a God of love create. God was present at that Q and A for sure.
The cross section of an educational institution that responds to the content I endeavor to share always amazes me. As I traverse the landscape of faces and hearts within my mind’s eye tonight as I write this update, I am overwhelmed and humbled to have been a part of God’s work in these students’ lives. The last night, over 140 young people came to the front of the church there in Fletcher. They responded to the picture of God we see revealed through the cross of Christ, and they desired not simply to accept Jesus as “Savior.” In surrendering, they wanted to be followers of Jesus and give themselves with the desire to be “Jesus” to the world today.
For all of you who were praying for this event to be successful, thank you. Only time will tell the lasting influence this week had on a generation that I am convinced is going to change the world. May we all come to see a picture of God that truly reflects His radical other-centered self-sacrificial love.
And to Fletcher Academy . . . thanks for allowing me to wear my jeans and ball cap while I preached.
Keep building the Kingdom.
I love you guys,