Monday, September 11, 2006

Detour Ahead

Welcome to The Barna Group!

We've all seen the sign "Detour Ahead" and approached with apprehension and disgust. The same can be said about this detour.
I label the upper-teen to upper-twenty age years the detour years for many people. They are the years that church doesn't seem to be relevant or important. Barna confirms this theory in the Barna Update linked above.

While the church should be active in preventive maintenance on this issue. We also must realize that it may be inevitable for some. These people are ultimately exercising their free will and sinful nature. Adam and Eve rebelled; so do we.

How shall we respond to the detour years? How did God respond to Adam and Eve? He provided the Savior! He offered forgiveness for their sin. (Yes, he punished them with the realities we face today, but many of these people are feeling the consequences of their decision to leave God out of their lives also: addictions, strange diseases, improper relationships, broken spirits, guilt, etc.)

I suggest we welcome our fellow sinners with open arms. We need to be ready to embrace these people when they return. We also must be searching for them as Christ does the one lost sheep. The motivation is not for more workers in the field, it's not for more offerings, or higher numbers of attendance. The motivation is Christ and His love!

Where there is a detour, there are often road workers pointing out the correct path and offering guidance. We do the same using God's Word as our guide.

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