From Derrick Scott III
We are now a few weeks away from the Reclaim Main Gathering in Coral Gables, FL. So much of my mind, heart and prayers are currently directed towards the April 8-10 weekend. We are believing for a gathering of young adults that will inspire a new generation of laborers and leaders for the kingdom of God. Our team has tons of work ahead in the next few weeks. And it will all be worth it.
In recent days, the question has come up in my head, ‘why Reclaim?’ Based on my unique personality, I am always game to be a part of something that looks like it has potential to be a catalyst for the Church. But of all the things I could get involved with as well as bring a whole team with me, why this particular idea that is developing into Reclaim?
One reason: to make it hard for young adults to be cynical about the Church.
The church is not perfect. We have many issues that have yet to be voiced. Of those that have, we too easily get lost in debate with very little active change to show for it. We quickly move from addressing problems to assigning blame and it ends in fractures and splits. One result of this is a deep abiding cynicism about the Church (the institution, the tradition, the people, etc).
It is not uncommon to sit at a table with denominational leaders and within minutes here the gripes and disappointments of the last decade or more. The tragedy of it all is the lack of hope in the future that has no doubt come from years of trying to change a system that exists to maintain itself. I do not claim to fully understand the pessimism that I hear from so many in my own conference. I applaud the tireless efforts of those who are trying to bring renewal to our Church through the system, from the inside out. But what I have learned is cynicism and pessimism is a choice.
Imagine a generation of young leaders and laborers who though being aware of the threats and weaknesses of the Church, somehow attained a hope of a better day for God’s people. What if a large community of young adults became so captivated with a positive vision for the future of our denomination that they went after it with passion? What could happen across the Conference if one generation decided that the glory of Christ in His Church was a dream worth pursuing? That’s why Reclaim exists.
When we gather young adults, whether it be regionally or Conference-wide, the implicit message we are bringing is we do not have to be cynical about the Church. As a generation, we can make the choice to believe that Jesus still has a plan for His people, even the people in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. One of our goals is to make it difficult for young adults to allow pessimism to be the primary response to the state of the Church. We are praying that Reclaim events will produce young people who believe that the best is yet to come for us.
If you are a young adult in Florida, you’re invited to join us for the Reclaim Gathering next month. Go to www.reclaimgathering.com for more info and registration details.