I’m not sure about the area where you are. But, here, something is brewing. We are right on the brink of something huge! And I see it in the communities around us as well. The more people I talk to, the more excited I get.
But let me back up a few steps….or a few decades….for a moment.
At some point in the church’s history, passive Christianity became the norm. Sunday mornings became the benchmark for being a Christian. Sing in the choir, make and/or serve a few meals, put your money in the plate, and you are golden. The standard has been met. A few people were called to be missionaries, a few were called to be pastors. The idea of making disciples, of fulfilling the great commission was placed in their hands. Because it was their job to lead the flock. That’s what we were paying them to do after all! We were also paying them to preach the gospel, to visit the sick, to baptize, to dedicate, to teach, to counsel, to grow the church…because we had our own jobs to do. We had our own families to provide for. And it was their job! Do you see how this got out of hand? How can one person accomplish all of that in a single week?!? It was never, I repeat, never, supposed to be this way.
I’m not saying that pastors and missionaries should be unpaid. What I am saying is that we took advantage of that position. And we let the few start doing the work of the many. We put our responsibilities in the hands of another person and allowed church attendance to replace disciple making. At the end of Matthew, Christ gave His disciples clear instructions – “to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son, teaching them to observe all that I’ve commanded.” We are His disciples and those instructions have been given to us. Attending church on Sunday is not making disciples. Placing money in the plate is not making disciples. Making a meal is not making disciples. Giving to charity (monetarily or otherwise) is not making disciples. Don’t get me wrong – those are all good things. But those good things, those fairly passive things, have replaced THE mission Christ has given us.
But the tides are changing. People are waking up.
Millennials get a bad wrap. And often, I am a tad embarrassed to be associated with a generation that is so frowned upon. But there is one thing we have going for us, whether everyone may recognize it or not, we are passionate and we seek purpose. Now, I’m not saying that millennials are the only reason the tides are changing, but I do believe it’s a big part of it. They, we, want to be a part of something that truly makes a difference. We want to get our hands dirty. We want to have a purpose.
Unfortunately, sitting in a pew on Sundays doesn’t give purpose. Donating to charity doesn’t give purpose. But being a part of something bigger than me – that brings purpose. Making a difference, seeing life change, seeing lives made whole through the power of Christ – that brings purpose. And it should. Because being a part of God’s kingdom, making disciples, is the purpose for which we were created.
Something is brewing. I see leadership rising up from the younger generation. I see men and women of all ages who are not okay with the status quo. They are not okay with a dying Church! And they are ready to make a change. The great thing is – that passion, that desire for purpose, and a desire for new life-blood flowing in the veins of the church – it’s extremely contagious.
The passion is spreading. Though not as fast as a wildfire, it’s still spreading, little by little, like moss on the trunk of a tree. The growth may not be noticeable on most days – but eventually, there is evidence that the moss has spread, it has grown, and it’s still spreading. Slowly, but surely.
But I feel like we’re on the precipice. That passion is going to erupt and the wildfire growth will begin. Something is brewing.
The winds are blowing. The tides are changing.
And I want to be a part of it.