We have just returned from the annual leaders meeting for our international organization. As always, there was much to report. The first morning we were blessed by the ministry of Van Crouch, whom I heard first some 27 years ago. He is still a blessing. During his message he referred several times to “this demographic,” speaking of the age of the people in the crowd. I took time to look around at our group of maybe 50 ministry leaders. It was certainly a veteran group. I could find only 4 or 5 who appeared to be under 50. Biblically, it is appropriate for leaders to be older. They are called elders for a reason. That being said, I felt a certain sadness for a younger generation who may not see the move of God in the way previous generations have. There are things that ought not be lost, but they will be if we don’t expose younger people to them. I sometimes fear that in an attempt to be cool and relevant and inoffensive we have lost some reality.
So then, what have we seen in the last 30 or 40 years that we want to be sure to pass on? In no particular order, here are my personal top 10:
- The amazing power of genuine, Holy Ghost- powered, intercessory prayer. Folks need to see some groaning and shaking and crying and travail.
- The ministry gift of tongues and interpretation. There is a power there that rings true with the unbeliever and inspires the faithful.
- The glory of being in a large crowd all worshipping in tongues. The angels join in to charge the atmosphere with holiness and usher in the glory.
- Crowds of American believers so hungry for God they line up hours before the service to get a good seat. It helps if they are carrying bibles and notebooks, though now it would be a different kind of notebook.
- Bible translations that have not been so dumbed down that they have lost their majesty. Don’t you occasionally miss old King Jimmy?
- The kind of audacious faith that just takes off to another city or another state or another country with nothing but a bible and a dream. Organization and prudence are wonderful things, but I love the guys who get out of the boat. (I have been privileged to know a bunch of them.)
- Sermons about Hell. If there is no Hell, then Heaven is meaningless.
- Sermons about Heaven. If there is no Heaven, then life is meaningless.
- When was the last time you saw someone get up out of a wheelchair? It’s time to revisit the miraculous with an on purpose expectancy.
- A lot fewer politically correct, Oprah-esque, sermons. I long for the days when people will once again commit sin instead of just making mistakes. (Jesus didn’t die for your mistakes) Wouldn’t it be great just to hear the truth in plain language coated with love and passion?
I could go on and on. The longer I sit here the more things I think about. You can add your own if you’re over 50.
Somebody Said: Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late. Thomas Sowell
Scripture Reading: One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. Psalms 145:4-8
We certainly want to change with the times in some ways, but in others, we must mold the times. That will require the power and boldness that only the Holy Spirit can provide. As Elders, we need to stand up and do a little show and tell.
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