I just received my copy of Don’t Call it a Comeback: An Old Faith for a New Day, edited by Kevin DeYoung. Reading the intro, it is a little different than I expected but I am still liking it. It is geared toward new believers or those just now seeking to learn how to articulate the faith. I was thinking it would be a collection of essays on the importance of being tied to correct, historical theology and the historic church. Granted, I am only one chapter in. DeYoung kicks off the first chapter by discussing how to reach the next generation. He doesn’t offer programs, or styles, but passion.
They [the next generation] will only get serious about the Christian faith if it seems like something seriously worth their time. You can have formal services, so long as you do not have formalism. You can have casual services, so long as you do not approach your faith casually.
I have often heard it said, “A mist in the pulpit is a thick fog in the pew,” meaning if the teacher/preacher doesn’t know what he’s talking about, then the congregation will be even more lost. The same principle applies to zeal. If the preacher/teacher is unmoved and not passionate about the Gospel, he should not be surprised when few in the congregation care—they are only playing follow the leader. I have been apart of both types of churches. Churches where the ministries want nothing to do with other ministries in the church, there is segregation, lack of unity, and lack of passion. However, it is hard to be surprised because it is a trickle down effect from the leadership. I have also been in churches where the staff deeply loves one another, serves one another, encourages/admonishes one another and has deep zeal. The congregation typically follows suit. So, be gripped by the Gospel! Be zealous! We don’t need more visionaries to conjure up new programs, but we need transformed people who are passionate. I leave you with this:
I’m tired of talking about authenticity, as if prattling on about how messed up you are or blogging about your goldfish are signs of spiritual maturity. We need passion, a zeal fueled by knowledge (Rom 10:2) Young people want to see that our faith actually matters to us. They are like Ben Franklin when asked why he was going to hear George Whitefield preach. ‘You don’t even believe what he says,’ people told Franklin. To which he replied, ‘I know. But he does.’ If our evangelical faith is boring to us, it will be boring to others. If the gospel is old news to you, it will be dull news to everyone else.