Just recently our Church Facebook page received a message from an organization in the community. This particular organization's purpose is to raise awareness to citizens about the surmounting debt incurred by college students in society. In other words, they hold seminars in the community that provide vital statistics on the costs and benefits of a college education in America today. We can't overlook this type of information as people in society because it impacts the future of our economy, environment, and young people.
Along with rising costs of post-secondary educational institutions, the benefits of an education are deflating in America pushing students into certain areas of study. My Bachelor's degree is in the area of Social Sciences, which was a popular content area in the 90's, but career counselors push STeM (Science, Technology, and Math) degrees today. The shift in the popularity of career focuses has to do with the shift in the economy and the focus of the American culture. Don't get me wrong, I believe that STeM degrees are vital to progress in medicine, communication, environmental protection, and other areas. The reality is that the shift has occurred and it has made studying the Social Sciences a lesser priority.
Wow! I hope all of this hasn't bored you yet or upset you in any way--especially if you hope for the future of the success of America's economy. All of this has me thinking, however, about the lives of faith in faith communities or Churches. Our society and culture has preordained the purpose of our Church from the outside to say that we aren't a Church unless we add to the culture positively just as it shifts the prescription of educational purposes to fit the needs of our economy, environment, and young people. The same societal jury is handing the Church the verdict of individual hypocrites, who don't practice what we preach. If that's the outside looking in, how should we look from within? Well, we should turn to Jesus' ministry as He stressed a focus on the intrinsic value and responsibility of individuals who strive to live a life of purity that sees every human as a loved child of God accompanied with a focus on caring for those who are searching for help. In essence the Church should look like what the outside world preordained us to be. Why? The American society and culture understands the importance of the Church in this world and is tired of a world without its influence. If it appears that we are judged unfairly by the world, then look again because that wagging finger is simply a hand stretched out from an impoverished spiritual domain asking for help.
So, instead of getting upset at how the world sees us, look to God for help in how to strengthen the leadership of our Churches in the reaches of our faith and the growth of individual believers who seek to be a part of God's plan rather than ask God to be a part of their lives. Through all of this thinking I've been doing, I look to God for help myself because I know that His answers to the problems of this world are a lot simpler for Him to see in His mind than my mind can imagine. I know our Church doesn't exist in a vacuum or on an island, and I know that God is concerned about the sheep outside the flock so I invite you to think with me and look to God for help as we observe a world in spiritual peril awaiting another awakening.