As a young adult in Community of Christ, I am hopeful and I am excited! This is such a great time for the World Church and for all young adults. The church is on the edge of some amazing things as we continue to respond to our call to be a prophetic people, to be Disciples of Christ, and to live that message out every day of our lives and the church’s life. The spirit is leading each of us, and the church, on a wonderful journey. And now is the time to not be afraid and step out in faith! I am truly excited and encouraged by what is unfolding and occurring with the Young Adults of our church and the efforts of the World Church leadership to listen and hear the voices of Young Adults!
Over Memorial Day weekend my wife and I had the opportunity to attend the Rocky Mountain Young Adult Vision Project retreat in the beautiful Rockies, and what a spirit felt and renewing weekend it was. We were able to share with President Veazey, his wife Cathi and our very own World Church YA minster, Erica Blevins. We shared, we laughed, we cried, we played, we fellowshipped, we worshiped, and we listened. What touched my heart more than anything was the sharing and open discussion between the Rocky Mountain young adults, the World Church leaders, and the Rocky Mountain Mission Center President. Individuals opened their hearts about hopes, dreams, concerns, trepidations, and frustrations in life and in their relationships with the church…and we all listened. Others began to open up about their heartfelt feelings of wanting to do something more, of being called to do something more for the church – but not knowing exactly what that calling might be or how it would unfold.
To hear the experiences of Steve and the other leadership truly touched each of us – to hear that at times, they too have experienced the same unknown life journey. To hear that it’s OK if you don’t know what you’re being called to do or you’re unsure of how you can best serve the church was refreshing! But for many in our midst that weekend, the best thing was just knowing that someone was listening and you were being heard – some for the first time. To be told compassionately, “Don’t be afraid”…talk and share with the World Church leadership, your pastor, or your mission center president. “Don’t be afraid”…take the next faithful step in your journey to share God’s love, peace, and grace with each other, your church, your community, and the world.
As a young adult pastor, the weekend was also a time for renewal and encouragement for me. I had just run into what felt like a giant brick wall on my own journey and my journey with my congregation. I was tired, torn up, burnt out, frustrated, and just not sure if being a pastor at this age was the best thing. Reflecting back, the passion that was once so bright a few years ago was now dimming more and more. My passion and calling felt as if were slipping away. But after the Vision Project weekend my passions flooded back. My commitment to my congregation and our journey together grew stronger. The fire in my heart for my congregation to not be afraid and to become the hands and feet of Jesus in our community was lit anew.
Now is the time! We are on the edge of so many great things as Christ leads us on a journey together, both as young adults and as a World Church. My hope is that all young adults who feel that they are being called to new roles in their congregations, mission centers, and the world church will be encouraged and renewed. That they will not be afraid to step out on a new journey and allow God’s urging to fill them in new ways. The church is listening. The church is passionate for what we each have to offer. Don’t be afraid to voice your ideas, concerns, hopes, passions, and expectations. Don’t be afraid to step out in faith on the journey ahead. Don’t be afraid to go and seek where you are being lead!
Finally, if you have the opportunity to participate in one of the remaining Vision Project retreats I would encourage you to do so. You won’t be disappointed! And if you go, don’t be afraid to step out and share, to listen, to fellowship with each other, and to build relationships that will connect and energize you for the journey ahead.
Travis Savage is a young adult participant in the Community of Christ Co-Missioned Pastor Initiative and has been pastor the past 4 years at the Aurora, Colorado congregation. He is a laboratory manager by day and an artist by night (when he has time). Travis loves spending time with his wife Megan and his 20 month old son, Eli – who is the joy of their lives! Eli will become a big brother in June 2011.
Find him on Facebook.