Why we do what we do isn’t complicated. Like you, the reason any of us minister to students is because of Jesus. Because we believe the Gospel has the power to change everything. When you boil it down, this is the ground zero of our lives. There’s a lot of noise surrounding Christianity these days. But we can rest in the fact that the only thing needed for true, radical life change is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This powerful truth, that Jesus makes all things new, is at the heart of the theme for GENERATE. If you join us in the summer of 2017 for GENERATE, your students will see in a powerful way how the Gospel changes everything.
We start with a problem. The biggest problem man has ever encountered. Sin. In Genesis 1, we see How It Was, how God created and set the world in motion for us to experience communion with Him. We retroactively try to stop Adam and Eve from their folly, all while knowing we do the same things on a daily basis. We choose something over God, and it’s almost always ourselves. As creation moves forward, we move further away from the original plan, further away from that intimate huddle of the Creator and the created.
And yet, salvation was coming for us.
How It Changed wasn’t a loud to-do. It didn’t register on the Richter scale. It took the form of the God-man. The curse became the blessing. There’s always been a plan in motion, and it looks like this: you are loved, He has fought for you, and when Jesus comes into your life, you move from being a slave to the world and its emptiness to an heir with Him.
How then shall we live? A transformed life in Christ means we aren’t bound by the old ways of the world, we see it How It Is. We can live without the distractions of power, vanity, and greed because our worth is rooted in our identity as believers. When Jesus takes our heart of stone and gives us back a heart of flesh, that new heart comes with new purpose: to know Christ and make Him known. We don’t do this on our own, but Christ in us.
This story does not end with us. It does not end with us simply living the right way to earn a ticket into heaven. It does not end. This world that we currently see will pass away, and in its place: a new heaven and a new earth, and we get to be there to experience How It Will Be. And this truth should spur us on to tell others about it. This is the best news of our lives, and it begs to be shared. We can trust His word, we can actively live as children of the promise, while hoping in a future where everything shall be made right, and we are fully redeemed.
We do what we do because we know that if Jesus can change us, He can change anyone. We’re expectant. We’re full of hope. Because we know nothing can be the same when we encounter Jesus.
This summer at GENERATE, students will encounter How It Was, creation longing for a means of redemption, trapped in a cycle of personal sin and hollow sacrifice (Romans 3:23, Genesis 1, Psalm 14:1-3). They will discover How It Changed, how the Messiah came into the world and delivered good news of great joy: we are reconciled with Him through His blood (Ephesians 1:7-10, Galatians 4:4-7). Students will dive into How It Is, how we walk in newness of life, how we stand for truth and lay down our lives for the Gospel (Colossians 3:12-15, James 1:2-4, Ezekiel 36:26). And finally, we’ll explore How It Will Be, the future hope of all things being made new that is coming to fruition even now (Romans 8:28, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Revelation 22:1-5).