Numerous times I have heard Christians talk about other people “making a decision to follow Jesus.” They are usually talking about a big public decision that came with a confession of faith and in our Church, it also included baptism. Christians celebrate these as huge markers in our journey of faith. I do it too. Each year I am excited about the baptisms that happen in our Church. I am encouraged by each and every person who takes a big step for the world to see.
Through my years as a Church leader, I am getting less excited about that one time someone made that one big decision. Lately, I am more excited about the ongoing decisions people make to following Jesus.
-I am excited for the child who decided to come to Church as a teenager even when their parents say it is “up to them.”
-I am encouraged when a teenager makes the decision to pursue a life of faith above all else including sports, school, work and a social life.
-I am impressed by any college student who attends Church and tries to remain faithful to God when all their friends are walking away.
-I am overjoyed when a recent college graduate connects with a body of believers and commits to growing in their faith.
-I am thrilled when newlyweds decide to build their marriage on Christian principles and patterns.
-I am moved by new parents who bring their children to Church and start their family on a journey of faith together.
-I am touched as parents of a young family make Church and faith a priority over all the “big shiny things” that plead for their children’s attention.
-I am wowed by parents of teens who believe that faith is the single most important thing for their kids over the thousand activities that compete for their time.
-I am amazed at newly empty nest couples who commit to ministry over recreation and self-centeredness.
-I am honored to watch senior citizens continue to serve, grow and love when they could sit back and rest on the accomplishments of the past.
I picture faith like a journey with God. Frequently there are exit ramps on this road with bright lights and exciting attractions, but faith just keeps moving forward with God. With every new phase of life comes a new decision to follow Jesus. One time public decisions are wonderful steps on this adventure, but they are meaningless if you quit somewhere down the road.
The journey of faith is filled with numerous decisions to follow Jesus. I hope and pray that you continue to choose to follow him day after day and season after season.