“Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” – Jesus, Matthew 5:3
Something unique is happening within the next generation.
Every system and structure our college students have known has failed them. They see their parents struggling through a difficult economic situation. They are getting two to three jobs simply to pay tuition, fees, and rent. They lived through a pandemic and witnessed firsthand how fragile our society can be. They’ve grown up in a world of social media that gives them an altered view of the world (and they know that). Everything around them has failed them.
It’s failed them and they are desperate.
They are desperate for peace. They are desperate for rest. They are desperate for genuine connection. They are desperate for genuine love.
They are desperate for Jesus.
Conway Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) has started this semester with a sermon series entitled, “All Means All.” The central question is how do we love God with all of our heart, mind, energy, and soul?
Each week a student or two has come to me afterward and said through tears, “I can’t handle this burden anymore.” As I encourage them to go to the altar at Harlan Park Baptist Church where we meet and cry out to the Lord, the look on their face is, “Will this actually work?” They come back to me smiling (through more tears) with a look of freedom on their face. The burden is gone. They have felt the rest that Jesus promises to those who come to Him. (Matthew 11:28-30)
They walk in the room heavy from the burdens of everything that’s failed around them (and within them) and they leave the room full of the peace and rest that Jesus offers them.
This is happening all across the country on college campuses. Auburn University had a worship service turn into an all night baptism service. College students, desperate for Jesus, coming to Him for redemption. It’s also happening in local churches. Students are flooding to churches in Conway – even churches who have said, “we’re not even trying to reach them.”
This generation may be everything that the popular news channels tell us they are. But you know what else they are? Poor in spirit. They realize their need for Jesus and they aren’t afraid to come to Him. They are experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven—moment by moment—and in doing so they are stepping into all that God has for them.
They will lead our kids, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren.
If early indications are correct, these college students will be leading our kids, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in “seeking first the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness.”
Please pray for our students. Pray they will stay focused on the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and go all in on following Him. Pray that these four years of their lives would set the tone for the rest of their lives.