3 Temptations of the Emerging Generation

Before you get too far into this post, I don’t have a real clear handle on how to describe generations and changes.  Some people talk about the emerging church and sometimes our labels can lead to more confusion than clarity.  By emerging, simply think of the generation that is currently in their teens, twenties and even early thirties.  At some point in all our lives, we were the emerging generation.  At some point, too, we just get called “old.”

Back on point…I have been listening to podcasts from Craig Groeschel who is senior pastor at lifechurch.tv.  I’m in the midst of his third message, but have been thinking about what he talked about in his first message of this series.  He spoke primarily to the emerging generation and identified three temptations he believes apply to this generation of teens, twenties and early thirties.  He did say that these are his opinion, but I think he is on target and would like others thoughts on it.

Briefly, here are the three temptations as he sees them:

1. Temptation to Feel Entitled. We have a lot of “stuff” and one thing the emerging generation faces is the sense of entitlement.  In a world where everything is new, it creates an expectation of having that same standard of living throughout life.

Great thought on this:  we have a good life and feel like we deserve it.  When things go bad, we blame God because we feel we deserve it.  God doesn’t get the glory when things are good, but gets the blame when things are bad.

2. Temptation to Define Truth as We See It. We have been taught that there is no thing as absolute truth, so truth is defined by whatever makes me happy.

Love this illustration on this idea of judging things on how we feel.  Sin is like a sneeze.  It feels good coming out, but then there is snot everywhere. Great picture, wouldn’t you say?

3. Temptation to Postpone Adulthood. He referred to one person’s research on when people consider themselves as adults.  The primary answer was when they had a child.  So, until someone actually has children, he or she is not considered an adult.  Postponing adult can lead to postponing the roles and responsibilities that we equate with adults, in life, in the workforce and in the church.

That is a brief overview of his thoughts, but I have seen all three at work where I live.  Would be interested in other thoughts on this as well.

He is not bashing the emerging generation, but rather pointing out some obstacles young believers will face.  What is great is that he then challenges every generation to rise up and be the people God has created us to be.

Wild Goose Chase

Just finished reading “Wild Goose Chase” by Mark Batterson.  This is the third book of his I have read and I enjoy his style of writing and communicating.  He seems to live and serve with such passion and energy.  I especially enjoy reading the stories of the church he leads, National Community Church, in Washington DC.

In the book, he uses an old Celtic description of the Holy Spirit.  Celtic Christians had a name for the Spirit which translated into “wild goose.”  In his book, he identified 6 cages that keep us from chasing the Wild Goose – responsibility, routine, assumption, guilt, failure and fear.  In addressing each cage, he referenced a Biblical personality who overcame that limitation and chased the Wild Goose.

He has several challenges in the book that encourages the reader to get out of the rut and routine of church as we know it and pursue God.  One of his questions requires some reflection – are we more concerned with knowing God’s Will or knowing God?  How often are we guilty of trying to make God into our image rather than being made into the image of God?

Definitely a good read.  Now to do some of the things he said….

What Was He Thinking?

I am re-reading “Love & War” by John & Stasi Eldredge.  It is amazing (& humbling) to read something again and have things jump out at you like you’ve never seen them before.  Really points out how easily we can forget things…even really important things.

As John & Stasi talk about marriage, they describe marriage as a picture, a “passion play” of God’s love for His people.  In chapter 2 they write this:  “God created marriage as a living, breathing portrait laid out before the eyes of the world so they might see the story of the ages…God is a great lover, and he created marriage to play out on this earth a daily, living, breathing portrait of the intimacy He longs for with His people.”

YIKES!

Our marriages – our lives – are to be a demonstration of God’s love for humanity. That brings to mind the question, “What was He thinking?”  I mean, really, I know me.  I know how I think, how I justify my actions, how I forget what is important or honestly, that I care more about what I want than what others want (more times than I care to admit). Yet people like me are to model God’s perfect love for others.

While that seems to be a mission impossible, it also should serve as a reminder that God is calling us up into His Greater Story.  It should remind me that my life isn’t all about me.  It should remind couples that marriage is more than just about achieving happiness or even just surviving.  It is about being that living, breathing portrait and pointing back to the love of God.