more posts from us on generations… he is really speaking on this, and we are thankful for all the responses to this stuff. He must be hitting a nerve! I for one am excited by what he is saying, because it means he is really thinking about us… and there is a fresh beginning to two entire generations. it also means that he is giving us a reality check before something is about to shift in the church. praise god. you know he never called us any of the names the media did. we are praying, and i am believing that our generation will stand. the most ridiculously liberating and lavish parts of the feast haven’t even begun. many of us are being given a new commissioning. if you are still doing something you hate, you better watch out. He’s got it in for you. The lover of our souls! oh god, you are so good. i wish i had the words to describe.
fyi god is having me call gen x a new name, generational threshold, just so there is no confusionŠ
Look at generations as generations of My purposes, not just people. ŠIf you look at it as generations of God¹s purposes, He can take just one person to fulfill his plan, although he¹d rather use the whole lot. This is what happened with Joshua, who was one of few left from the wilderness generation to get to see the promised land, although it was His intention that the entire generation get to see what they had broken free from Egypt to see.
One of the reasons God is linking the generations back together is to break off a spirit of relevancy from the church.
There has been a general feeling of disconnection between those of my generation and those before us (Baby Boomers)‹and this is not just because our values are different. It is not only very natural that they be different, it is super-natural, for generations are God¹s purposes‹each one designed to carry out the further revelation of Himself on earth. (Each generation like each new baby that is yet to be born, which tells us that God isn¹t done expressing unique parts of His image through humans yet.) In our lifetime, there are two places of vulnerability within generational relationships in the church.
One is a susceptibility to worry about whether or not we are ³making sense² to the younger generation. The church has sometimes been guilty of fostering‹as much as the business world has‹a subtly manipulative marketing attitude toward the younger, starting programs and churches based on perceived needs of that generation. The second place of vulnerability is the sin of reaction. Here rebellion and and an attitude of exclusivity fill the space where God is trying to glue the two generations together. Frankly, it¹s time for the Gen Threshold to repent of some unforgiveness‹a whole stinking bunch of us have been rejected. I meet new believers every day in their 30s who are still pissed off at the church, or at some leader from the past. Yes, we needed the validation and fathering of our elders, but now that we are parents ourselves, we must break off this unforgiving yoke of resentment. Or else we will continue to make things out of reaction, forming clusters around our cultural identity of the moment, instead of our eternal identities.
The church always needs to change, expand, open her doors to each fresh expression of God, and God likes it when she is sincerely trying to understand and love others, but when she does it without the understanding of the Holy Spirit, she will inevitably build her own programs. Her own programs, unfortunately, became driven by a need to be relevant, instead of a genuine love and affinity for the new generation.
Relevancy as an cause in itself took on a life of its own during my twenties. There were many well-meaning and life-giving ministries trying to send water out to the artists, out to the 20-somethings. Although it was based on a desire to water, to evangelise, to help the hurting, to bring the artists Œback in the building,¹ it became a system of its own right and we as a church gave it power. Now ministers are being celebrated for how relevant they are! Let¹s think about this. My gen started serving under its banner, too, and now it¹s time we take this yoke off of us and give it back to him.
He showed me that Relevancy as a system was choking both those in and out of the building. I was one of those who were out. So many of my generation ran away from the church. Frankly, it stunk for me; I didn¹t find it¹s soul-life very interesting, so I went elsewhere where the poetry sung and the music was more dynamic, and where people wanted to stay my friend after the 8:00 service. But my spirit starved, and as my believer friends dwindled and I fell into depression, what I needed most was SPIRIT food. It didn¹t matter what package it came in‹how relevant, how soul-soaring it was‹it needed to be just food. Actually at first I needed an IV. Gimme an injection of the Holy Ghost! Gimme Jesus sitting next to me with his warm hand, I don¹t care how cool the cover looks. The symbol is never as powerful as the reality it represents, and as Derek often says, God can use a donkey to accomplish His will!
But He does use symbols, and our generation is probably the most powerfully symbolic generation yet. Of course for our generation it would be disingenuous and cheating others if we didn¹t make the cover ³cool.² We just do subtle, beautiful and complex work by nature of who we are, because we were given a special self-awareness at an axial moment in history. But WE NEED TO KNOW when we are making an idol of out of our symbols‹which come in any form, whether our art, or our computer programs, or our work, or our guitars, and worse, our ministries. All of our big ideas‹and there have been many‹must come through the delivery of Jesus¹ spirit. Otherwise, and this is what happened to many of those Gen Thresholds who stayed in the church, we make something that kowtows to the cultural zeitgeist of the moment. So some got angry for the church being irrelevant, while others tried to solve the problem by making something relevant. Both sides of our generation let this icky stronghold thrive. Guys, it¹s time to be. Jesus is saying to us, GO BE. Really‹to go be who we were made to be. What is your wildest dream and what is keeping you from it? If it is God having you on hold, that is one thing, but if you are not doing what you were made to be, you are being someone else.