Day One of the Florida Annual Conference was pretty cool for the folks involved with Reclaim. Dave Sippel allowed Derrick Scott III a few minutes to explain the vision and goal of Reclaim to the Laity Session on Wednesday morning. The result was an inspired crowd and several visitors to the Reclaim Table in the Ministry Expo. The team spent the better part of the day passing out flyers, CD’s and DVDs while showing the Church that young people have not completely abandoned the Church.
One person who approached our table believed that gathering young adults and encouraging them to be the Church today was not possible. They believed that young people always pull away from the older generations. While their comments seemed genuine, we could hear the lack of hope in their hearts. And who could blame them…to hear that there are over 10,000 United Methodist Churches in the nation who cannot report one youth/young adult in their congregation is totally disheartening. But Reclaim is about hope.
We believe that there is still a greater day coming for the Church of Jesus Christ and specifically the United Methodist Church. We believe it is worth the time, money and effort of finding, bringing, inspiring and mobilizing this generation to complete devotion and action for Jesus’ name and glory. And we believe that young people will not only reclaim their call to be in ministry, but also their place in the greater church among the great cloud of witnesses who continue to serve and advance the kingdom of God faithfully. Reclaim believes that there is hope of a better day for the Church that includes all generations.
The words of Haggai say it best: For thus says the LORD of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the LORD of hosts.'” Haggai 2:6-9
I think it is this hope that excites so many older adults when they hear about Reclaim. If it were possible that the best days of our Church are actually ahead of us, and if God did use Reclaim as part of His plan to take us there, it would be a glorious thing. It is a lofty goal, but worth it none the less. Reclaim is here to give hope to those who believe in the mission of the Church that there is a new generation of leaders and laborers getting ready (and many already are) to RECLAIM their place in the Church.