The current fad among hip-hop Christendom is “reaching the youth.” Maybe we should ask ourselves, “For what purpose are we trying to reaching them?” Are we trying to get them saved? Are we trying to get their lives changed for Christ’s sake?
It is interesting that Peter, Paul, John or Jesus never had a “youth movement.” They ministered to all ages and cultures. Peter never started a Fisherman’s Church nor did Paul start an Ex-Pharisee Church. Actually the church placed more emphasis upon the older than on the younger. The churches ordained “elders,” not “young’uns.” The command to “honor” parents had no expiration date (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-3.) There are specific instructions on the treatment of age groups in scripture (1 Timothy 5:1-3) and youth never takes precedence. The scripture is also very clear on the instruction for ministry (2 Timothy 2:1-4.)
There are some interesting facts about the so-called “youth movement.” It actually will destroy itself. Let me ask you, who do you consider to be an “old person?” How much older is that person than you? The rule of thumb is that anyone twenty (20) years older than us is old. Someone at twenty (20) considers a person of forty (40) to be old; a person at thirty (30) considers someone at fifty (50) to be old, etc. When my mother was in her early 80’s she informed me that she had a job. I naturally inquired what kind of job did she have at eighty (80) years of age. She informed me that she “was sitting with an old woman.” I had a good laugh and the people to whom I related the story to also had a good laugh. One day in our conversation I happened to ask her, “Just how old is this old woman you are sitting with?” She responded,”She is 102.” She, indeed, was old, even to my 81 year old mother.
Father Time takes no days off. You can get a different hair style, dye it, dress younger and get a tattoo, but it won’t stop time. There is no fool like an old fool trying to impersonate a young person or trying to impress a young person.
Our new-age churches can use all the marketing tactics, demographic analyses and entertainment oriented worship they can purchase, but none will replace the Holy Spirit nor will they assist Him. You and I have the gospel because Paul followed the leadership of the Holy Spirit, not a demographic study, into the Western World (Acts 16:6-10.) Notice that Paul did not stop and pout when God closed a door he tried to enter; neither did he try to modernize the gospel he was preaching. He started another direction and the Holy Spirit closed that door. Paul just kept starting until God gave him an open door. Paul never canvassed the people, he listened to God.
Listen carefully; our business as God’s ambassadors is not serving the community or the church. Our business is serving Christ. If we do that, the result will be a better church and a better community.
Only a spiritually void person would follow the desires of another spiritually void person or group. Why would anyone bother to ask a lost person or a backslidden Christian (their obvious condition if they are not attending some church) what they would prefer in a church? That is like asking the inmates what kind of jail they would prefer.
The very fact that the new age church has resorted to worldly methods to protect their income reveals a tremendous vacuum of either Bible knowledge or Bible faith. Either they do not know what the Bible says or they do not believe what the Bible says. Everything we need to know about church planting, church growth and church responsibility, God has put in writing. George Barna of the Barna Research Group, considered reputable in analyzing the plight of the church stated, “…people are seeking God.” (Outreach, May/June 2006, p. 51.) You will find this opinion held by Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, etc. That opinion is in direct opposition to what the scripture says, “…there is none that seeketh after God…” (Romans 3:11, also note Psalms 14:2-3.)
Bill Hybels big challenge was “Is my church’s concern for the poor increasing? Are we trying to bridge racial divides? Are we responding to the AIDS pandemic? Are we working to overcome systems that oppress people?” (Outreach, May/June 2006, p. 47.) This is nothing but pure socialism. We see nothing about preaching the gospel, getting people to heaven, working to prevent AIDS or obeying government (Romans 13:1-5.) The Bible has the answer to every problem man will ever encounter.
We, as Christ’s ambassadors, are responsible to get the gospel to the lost. Many churches have just become social clubs serving their own financial, social, cultural peers. They have no outreach programs, no evangelical programs and no local mission projects and they wonder why they are losing members.
It does not behoove us to criticize the social gospel crowd when many of us do not talk with one lost soul a month about Jesus Christ. The formula for success in God’s sight is very simple:
- Bible study – that’s God speaking to us. He will tell us what to do and how to do it.
- Prayer – that’s us talking with God. Don’t monopolize the conversation.
- Soulwinning – that’s us talking with others about Christ. It’s a Bible word, you can’t improve on it. We keep changing words trying to find some word that won’t offend the enemies of Christ. We just want everyone to love us and cannot bring ourselves to believe that Jesus knew what He was talking about in John 15:18-19, 17:14.
Never are we to be conformed to this world (Romans 12:1-2) nor are we to conform the world to us. Our job is to be a faithful “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:18-21.)
Keep Looking Up!