FRIDAY, MAR. 30: We are now living in a very different Bermuda than just five years ago.
With the present outbreak of violence in the gang culture, we cannot ignore the fact that we need sudden and drastic change.
However, if we are going to see this change take place in our nation, we cannot point the finger without being willing to roll up our sleeves and get busy by being a part of the solution.
We cannot passively sit by and expect that change is going to take place by osmosis.
It is going to take first of all, prayer, sacrifice, education and consistent compassion in action to make a lasting change in our society.
The fact is that we are reaping many years of a lack of mature parenting, a lack of discipline, and lack of unconditional love among people that are desperately looking for love and acceptance.
What has gone so wrong that the males in our society will become so loyal to a culture embedded with territorial rights, and the quest for respect and acceptance, that they will ride up and shoot someone just like them with the risk of harming their own family.
The sure result of such a lifestyle is either getting harmed themselves, death, or losing their freedom.
It is a dead-end lifestyle. How is it that the mentality of some of our youth has become so short-term with little to no proper consideration of the consequences of our actions?
I think it is necessary for us to consider what role we will all play in being a part of this solution because I am fully convinced that with God’s help we can restore many lives that have become derailed in our society, but it will take each of us doing our part.
In fact this is what Jesus means when he says that we are salt and light.
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
We must be effective in our mission to be salt: to preserve our nation; and to be light: to show the way to Christ in darkness by getting involved in people’s lives. During this series I would like to share some of the reasons why we may have come to this desperate state and also how we can be part of the solution.
The first topic I would like to address this week is the need for people of compassion to make a definite difference in the social ills of our society.
Maybe part of our dilemma is that we are relying too much on charities and government to better our country rather than doing our part as a people.
Now, I am certainly all for charities and government to do their part, but maybe we are too dependent on them to a fault in which we have become a society that expects others to fix the broken pieces for us.
We expect the broken walls of our society to be rebuilt without picking up a tool and joining in on the work.
We need to go back to getting involved in the grassroots of our society.
We need effective change to take place one life at a time.
We have a tremendous amount of at-risk youth in our country. They are in desperate need of positive adults living and leading by positive examples as role models to follow.
It is a proven fact that… “Research has demonstrated that adolescents with at least one high-quality supportive relationship with an adult were twice as likely as other youth to be economically self-sufficient, have healthy family and social relationships, and be productively involved in their communities. (Jones-Brown & Henriques, 1997).
However, it is also a reality that… “Unfortunately, at-risk youth and youthful offenders often have limited impact with positive adult role models with whom they can form and sustain meaningful relationships.” (Jones-Brown & Henriques, 1997).
This is one of the reasons we are having a United for Change Impact Conference on April 14, 2012.
Church and ministry leaders have come together to identify the needs in society based on the persons they are serving in the community and have decided to get more equipped to make a lasting change in Bermuda.
We realize that churches are doing a lot as they account for a great amount of volunteerism on the island, however, we believe that we can be more effective in our strategy and approach.
Dr Tony Evans will be sharing powerful messages on how a nation can experience change when the church takes a stand to lead by example in their personal lives, family, church and society.
In addition the conference will offer more than 10 breakout sessions on strategic growth, effective leadership, youth ministry, strategic community outreach, effective music ministry, and more.
Don’t miss the opportunity to get equipped as a lay person, Sunday School teacher, youth worker, music minister, leader, or pastor.
Let’s learn how we can practically meet the needs of others.
Each of us has something to offer, whether it is by leading or following.
There is no reason that we cannot play our part in helping our youth to succeed.
In fact, we are learning the hard way that our future depends on it.
The United for Change Impact Conference will be held on Saturday, April 14 from 9am to 4pm at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess. Purchase your tickets ($65 including Fairmont lunch or $35 without lunch) by calling 734-4673; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.ufcbermuda.org.