Dear Friends in Christ, We began a new series last weekend called "Heroes." (Click here for more information about how you can be a hero through serving and to view a video shown during worship.) I mentioned that the iY Generation (those born between 19842002) is the first generation in awhile who - when Dr. Davis Chappell asked about their heroes - name a teacher, coach, parent, grandparent, pastor, counselor or youth director. They name folk with whom they have a relationship, a history. This generation is extremely relational. They want to belong before they believe. They want the experience before the explanation. They want a cause before they take the course. I find that to be very encouraging. Faith always has a history. Many of you wrote down the name of a hero and placed it in a basket or an offering plate last weekend. Several of you shared stories after worship of mentors who had spiritually shaped you, whose examples continue to guide you today. I might also ask - is there anyone that you are mentoring right now? Is there someone in your sphere of influence that you might befriend, reach out to, or encourage? It's not hard to do. It just requires a little time and presence. It's amazing how God can use faithful friendships to shape the future. It's also amazing the reverse-mentoring process that takes place in such relationships. Joseph C. Campbell once said, "A hero is someone who has given his/her life to something bigger than themselves." The Scriptures are full of such people, and so are the church and the world. This weekend we're going to mention another unsung hero whose name was Barnabas. That wasn't his real name. It was more of a nickname given him by his friends. It means 'son of
encouragement.' Apparently, he was such a breath of fresh air to the community that they renamed him. His presence was a strength to the fellowship. If you had asked Barnabas the source of his strength, he would've told you about his relationship with Christ. He would've told you about the support of the church in Antioch. He would've mentioned the joy of serving. He would not have considered himself a hero. Heroes never do. They are just happy to be involved in something bigger than themselves. And therein, they find their purpose! Finally, it was good to welcome new members Gary and Ruby Rowe, and Chris and Christy Pennington at our Brentwood campus. Welcome to our church community. I look forward to seeing you this weekend at the place of encouragement.