People keep asking me, “Why are young families leaving the church?” (I believe this is a universal question not just one directed at our community). I always pause because I know they and the “young adults” referred to are not going to appreciate my answer. In fact, will tick them off because it has to do with personal accountability.

Here goes, they are leaving because they do not have a daily walk with the Lord and are not bearing fruit. They have made belief/church/religion trivial, something you do when you’ve got the time. So…why would you want to invest in prayer, meditation, introspection, Bible study and corporate worship?

While in Philadelphia this past week I toured Esperanza which is a ministry to strengthen the Hispanic community. Started by one of our American Baptist pastors, the Reverend Luis Cortes, Jr. a phenomenal shepherd. In his life  as he walked with God he recognized a need to change a community a neighborhood for Christ. Now all these years later God has blessed his personal walk with the fruit of 300 staff, a school, a college a changed lives. Why? Because Christ was first in his life, our Savior is relevant to his day to day life and God always honors such commitment.

I love a statement Reverend Cortes made, “At Esperanza, we transform through empowerment. We don’t give our community a fish, we don’t teach our community to fish…We help them own the pond.” Point? When Christ is first this always, always results in change.

Okay this blog wasn’t an advertisement for the ministry of Esperanza but a call for us to pause on our path. To look at what is first in our lives. To ask: Am I just strolling through life and calling on the Lord when needed?

I dare you to look at the frightening possibilities of placing God first? Try it! I will be excited to learn what “pond” God will bless you with to share, to minister to lift up? Stay on the path its not always easy but the results are truly miraculous and life changing.