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Musings of the Minstrel

Monday, December 7, 2009

What They See Is What They Get!

We are living in a unique age. We are called to spread the gospel to new generation. Sadly some are pounding the pulpit and railing against what they believe is a generation that is hopeless. I will admit that ministry to this post-modern generation can be frustrating and at the very least challenging, but I do not believe it is hopeless. I would like to go on record and say "This generation can be reached". I know, the "en-vogue" thing for a 41 year old preacher at this point in the post is to attack organized religion and point out all the warts and blemishes of particular church movements and their traditional services. Before you get worried that I am rushing to buy a pottery wheel and candles for my acoustic alchemy worship set, relax, I am not going there! lol... But I do wonder if some of what is being preached is being drowned out by what this generation sees in the lives of Apostolics?

In too many cases what is being said is not being matched by what is being displayed. Remember this is a "visual" generation. This description is not just a statement about video screens and strobe lights added for effect in some kind of optical worship experience. This generation "sees" first, rather than listening. This is one important reason that we must "display" the truth that we preach. People have grown tired of mere words. "Our use of the Bible is analogous to our use of language. We indwell it rather than looking at it from the outside. But for this to happen it is clear that this 'indwelling' must mean being part of the community whose life is shaped by the story which the Bible tells"(Lesslie Newbigin). In other words, what we preach has to be made visible!  WHAT THEY 'SEE' IS WHAT THEY 'GET'!

The Christ message must be preached and "lived out"...clearly! Graham Johnston in his book "Preaching To a Post-Modern World" states, "It is essential that the preacher not fall into the trap of being wishy-washy with a watered down message. People who have tired of uncertainty will be seeking straight answers". This generation is swift to recognize whether or not the message matches the life. They are not afraid of our doctrine...if our lives match what we say we believe. I am proposing that the apostolic church is poised to be the recipient of this generation's gaze. Let us recognize the need to "shew forth" this glorious gospel. This generation needs to see a church on fire, filled with the Holy Spirit and excited about what has brought us out of darkness. There is no need to be intimidated about our faith, our doctrine, our separation, our worship or our service to the Father. Square your shoulders, hold your head up, step out and demonstrate God's provision and love. It is the only way that this generation will receive it.


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