Monday, December 17, 2007
Shift Number 9
The Christian and church world has shifted radically over the last forty years. This has great implications for us Seasoned Believers. People like me must take care lest these shifts cause a series of angry conflicts between and among various generations and groups.
For example, the research from Willow Creek about how well or badly their churches were performing was cause for some to attack the church, the association of churches and the ways Willow had been approaching outreach, preaching and discipleship. Many others saw it as an opportunity to learn from the research and ask God for guidance about their own approach to evangelism and growth.
One thing is for sure, there are many opportunities for tension, attacks and misunderstandings between various schools of Christian thought. The research by Barna [firstname.lastname@example.org] and others is refreshingly frank about our strengths, weaknesses and areas of needed growth. I agree with Barna and Willow that we have been less than successful in training Christians how to face and overcome personal problems and how to thrive in an anti-Christian culture.
If there are over forth million born again Christians in America one would have to wonder why we are not more successful at positively affecting our culture. However, defensive attacks on each other or on the "world" will not improve our influence. We need to analyze our successes and failures and make the changes necessary to improve in the future.
I hope Seasoned Believers with experience in business, industry, scientific research, education and counseling as well as all other fields will come together to improve our churches and para-church organizations. We who have been seasoned by life and training have so many resources that can improve God's agents of ministry that we cannot pass up the opportunities God is providing.
Start thinking about the ways you can use your gifts, experiences and talents to enhance and strengthen future generations.