One of the great struggles we have today in the Indian Orthodox Church is preserving our children in the Orthodox Faith and keeping them motivated to participate in the Church. Too often they seem not to be interested. Can we somehow motivate our youths to be excited about being Orthodox Christians? I believe there is a way. It takes commitment and hard work, but it’s worth it.
We want everything in life – best education, successful career, wealth, great marriage and family and above all a name and standing in the community. But how many of us have committed / are willing to commit our lives to God and his Church? I want to outline few things and challenge the youths to come forward and work more for the glory of God and His Church. It goes without saying that the work of the youths in our church is commendable. Let us not rest on our past laurel, there is plenty more work to be done. Remember the words of the Lord; “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few”
1. Make Your Church a Priority
I am not asking everyone to be in church 24/7, but let us commit ourselves and each other and all our life to God. Our relationship with God comes first, our commitment to our church comes next, and our dedication to our family and work is third. If we are busy, find a way to compensate. If our time is in heavy demand and we don’t block out time for the church, we’ll never get involved. Let God not be only a part of our life, but let Him be the very essence of our lives.
2. Forget not God’s Faithfulness
A lot of us have access to good education, have our dream jobs, and life is blessed. We can take credit for all the hard work, effort and money we invested in this venture. However, we should never forget that God is the core and anchor of our success. We should be able to give God all the glory.
3. Love Your Church
Thirdly and I can’t stress this enough, we need to love our Church. If the problems in the church today, big and small were taken as our own, we would find solutions to most of our troubles. It is easy to walk away when things are rough, but that is when the Church needs us the most. Do not give your money, services and time to the Church out of obligation or fear of wrath, but give it out of love. Remember the word of St. Paul; “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”. (2 Corinthians 9: 7)
4. Never stay away from the Church out of Anger or Frustration.
There are times when things go wrong, even badly wrong. Today, we’ve having a few big bumps in our Church. Some of the situations in our Church bring us to tears. We could say, Lord, is there light at the end of this tunnel? Thank God for repentance, forgiveness, restoration, and grace. We are ordained as His servants, lay or clergy. Therefore, whatever we do, our goal is to work for the glory of God. Thank God, these measures have and will produce good fruit. That doesn’t mean there will never be more problems. There may be bumps yet to come in our lives. Lets us not be scorners and cynics. Let us persuade with tender compassion.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,
But set an example for the believers
in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4: 12)