Our world is changing, radically and quickly. Technology has ushered in new forms of communication, interaction and experience. Travel, education and information might be pricey but are accessible like never before. The ideas surrounding religion are changing too. So many people rightfully question what they’ve been taught and instead of finding answers, they find harsh words and closed doors. Those who want to experience the deep spirituality found in a relationship with Jesus so often get turned away by those of us defending him before they even get a chance to know him.
I’m not one for alarmist calls to action. The societal power of Christianity might be fading in America, but it’s still growing as a religion worldwide. Asian, African and South American brothers and sisters are now leading the tide, and it’s thrilling to see the incredible growth happening in these areas of the world. Historically, Christianity thrives most when it’s unpopular, and so it’s also exciting to think of the ways the church might shift here in the next few decades.
Rosaria Butterfield writes in her book about hospitality in a post-Christian world, The Gospel Comes with a House Key, that God never gets the address wrong. I believe that wholeheartedly. He puts us in the places we’re supposed to be, and when we ask Him to show us why we’re there, He is faithful to reveal good plans and purposes. I believe He’s also correct when it comes to our time: he doesn’t get our birthdays wrong. Like Esther, you and I are alive, now, for a purpose, and it is our joy to get to discover what that is!
A friend recently shared this article on his Facebook about the top post-Christian cities in America. Only three are located outside of the Northeast. Rhett and I get to live surrounded by people who don’t know Jesus and have been hurt or discouraged by the church. Although there are lots of days where we feel unworthy to make any sort of difference here, we know that God hasn’t gotten our address or our birthdays wrong. He’s got us here for lots of reasons: to love and serve our neighbors, to lead teenagers into knowing Jesus, to create community and to help build a church full of messy people madly in love with a magnificent God.
I believe that God has you in your specific place, in this specific time, for a reason. He has lessons to teach us, ways to grow us, and good works for us to do right where we are (Ephesians 2:10). We’ve just got to ask Him to show us! When we start considering our place, our time and our purpose, I know our eyes will be opened to the opportunities surrounding us to love others well. And when that happens, our world changes.