So, I was required to read Bennett’s Intentioal Disciplemaking for this year’s mentoring course at PESM. It was okay, kind of a holiness adaptation of Coleman’s Master Plan, which I suggest you memorize.
I’m not going to give any quotes except this one:
“Spiritual generations are God’s strategy for reaching the world. Any plan that ignores the natural process of parenting through successive generations is doomed to fail because it cirumvents God’s design for maturity. Furthermore, failure to pass on the truths of the faith to another generation is a mark of immaturity in the church.” (29)
As a pastor to young people I could not agree more. If the church is not willing to pass the faith on to younger generations it anathematizes itself. This, I believe, will be the mark of the boomer generation on the western church. Boomers are the first generation of Christians who have thought it was their right to have the kind of church that they desired. For me, this isn’t a blame issue as much as it is a heart issue. The boomers, who usually don’t listen to those younger than themselves, need to hear the prophetic calling of the young. The young people in America today are desperately searching for God – and can’t find enough Christian adults to help them find Him.
Mike King has also blogged on this, after a recent research study showed
“that most Christian adults strongly agree that their own faith development was shaped by adults in their lives during their youth. And yet, less than half of this same group believes that they have a responsibility to nurture the emerging generation of Christian young people.”
How can this be? How can the current adult generation allow themselves to fade into history letting themselves be known as the generation who thought passing on the faith was important – BUT DIDN’T DO IT!
Right next to my door I have a two-page article called “That Sucking Sound you Hear” by Tim Elmore. I frequently use materials from Tim’s organization, Growing Leaders, to train young people. I reccommend you read it in order to understand why we are in the hole that we are in, and Tim’s suggested ways out. I keep the article next to my door so that every time I leave my office I remember the current task of church leaders and I remember to fight to stop the sucking.
The emerging generation is rocking about 4% adhereance to evangelical Christianity. I don’t blame them for even a second. Instead I get them excited about the opportunity to ignite a revival among their generation – the generation that isn’t getting this whole faith just handed to them. God loves to use generations to fulfill his mission; thankfully, He doesn’t depend on them.