722 N. 145th St. | Shoreline, WA 98133

Like a Gym for Love

We hear a lot about how the Millennial Generation does not see the value of church, so I was delighted to hear an interview this week where a young man, about my son’s age, was describing how much he loved his church. When he first visited the church several years ago, he was welcomed warmly. He had little church experience, but he felt comfortable and, importantly for him, did not feel judged. He was invited to participate in various ministries and activities right away, and he has grown to love his church community.
The pastor of the church was part of this conversation too, and the interviewer asked him how they created such a welcoming and generous congregation, and his answer was really quite inspiring. This fellow has been leading the congregation for 28 years, and in that time, he feels like he has had three different congregations as the membership and the neighborhood around the church have gone through changes. All of that change brings conflict and disappointment. Change is hard, but through all of it, they have maintained their focus on sharing the Love of Christ.
The minister said, “This work we do, the purpose of our congregations, is to be a place where God’s love is known and shared, and loving takes practice. The congregation is a place where we are challenged to keep loving, over and over again, through changes and disappointments, through good times and challenging times. The more we do it, the better we get at loving.” The interviewer, another millennial, then said, “We don’t expect to be good at playing an instrument without practicing. We don’t expect to keep in shape without working out. I guess the same is true with learning to love. We go to the gym to get in our cardio workout and we can go to a congregation to get a workout in loving.”
See you at the gym.