I’m sitting in the lobby of the Hyatt on day 2 of the National Youth Gathering, waiting to serve and watching the smattering of students and adults grab their coffee in preparation for another full day. There are 25000 students and adults here. They have converged on Minneapolis to worship, grow, and serve in this once every three-year event.
The energy is shockingly wonderful. The mood is filled with joy. Smiles and high-fives are not lacking.
It occurs to me that this is a picture of what the church should be. Radical love, beautify harmony, unhindered service, transparent conversations, diversity within the unity, and clear calls to action through solid, applicable teaching.
Every hotel employee, conference center director, and police officer are blown away at our group’s respect and kindness. Officer Anton, whom I met, said that the kids were great, from obeying simple traffic lights to acting courteously as they stormed US Bank stadium to find a seat.
What if the church always acted this way? What kind of witness for Jesus would we be – student and adult alike – if we were known for this kind of love, mercy, and grace as we served our Real, Present, God?