There are many words in the English language that have a definite meaning. For example, “stop” means to cause to cease –– really no argument there. The beauty about the English language is the fact that there are so many words that change based on the context or values of the person saying the words.
This principle can work with just about any word or phrase. The word “fear” for one person can mean a totally different thing to another. The word “cool” is described by definition as, “fashionable, attractive, or impressive,” but the concept means something different to each person.
I love golf. I will make time to play golf regardless of my average score. I truly believe that golf is cool. I can’t say that about hockey. To be honest, I can’t stand hockey, so therefore my perception of the sport of hockey led me to believe that hockey is not cool. This again is my personal view of hockey, but there are many individuals who think differently. They love to play hockey, so in their mind, hockey is cool. An object or concept in and of itself isn’t cool, the view and perceptions an individual has about that concept makes that object cool.
Here is the challenge. Christianity today is not viewed by the world as desirable, positive, or, for a lack of a better term, cool. Sadly, many teens and adults who are Christ followers don’t necessarily make the Christian faith attractive because they don’t believe in their hearts that the elements of Christianity are desirous.
Jesus Christ commands us in Matthew 5:13 to be “the salt of the earth…” Our responsibility as Christians is to live in such a way that the outside world desires to have what we have. How can the world desire what we have if we ourselves don’t believe that the elements of Christianity are desirous? The problem isn’t Christianity; it’s the faulty view that Christianity isn’t cool. Once we understand that we have the opportunity to change the concept of “cool” in relation to Christianity, we can influence people to a generation that is sold out for God.
I saw this concept played out first hand my sophomore year of college. There was guy on campus that had it “all together.” He was easily the most athletic guy on campus, good-looking, made good grades, and didn’t have a problem making friends; in fact, everyone wanted to be his friend. With me being the new “runt on campus” I tried to follow everything the “big man on campus” did. Since he was cool, everything he did was cool. As I was walking to dinner one evening, I saw Mr. Popular walking back to the dorms from work. As he passed, there was a piece of trash lying on the ground. No big deal, we see trash everywhere right? Just before Mr. Popular passed, he stopped, bent down, picked up the piece of trash, crumbled it up, and kept walking. BINGO! Whether he thought about it or not, this guy made the principle of stewardship cool in a stranger’s mind.
God calls us to be more than disciples–He calls us to be disciplers. If we as Christians want to make a spiritual impact, we must first desire the things of Christ in our own hearts. We can change the negative perceptions of the things of Christ, but we must first make those elements desirable and cool in our own hearts. Let’s go start a revolution!Article by Brandon Joyner Youth Director at Valley Forge Baptist
Community Connection is an outreach magazine and blog from Valley Forge Baptist to provide relevant and uplifting articles for the families and homes of Collegeville, PA and area residents. Articles are not just from staff but from other community members who’s lives have been touched by Jesus Christ. If we have been an encouragement to you please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.