Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Multi-generational Churches

There's a lot of talk about creating a multi-generational, multi-cultural church. It's half good and half bad. If you mean multi-generational in terms of all ages, I'm for it. If you talk about multi-cultural in terms of the redeemed (who are one race, one nation - spiritual Israel, and one blood per Acts 17), I'm for that, too.

But what about remembering that we're called to be a REGENERATIONAL church before any of those other things. Love for people that are unlike us is not an inherited trait. It is learned in each generation - and it helps when we come to the realization that all the redeemed are already alike in the most eternally important way.

What we need are REgeneration churches! So I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this post. It reminded me of the half-way covenant that was a feature of compromised (mainline?) puritanism:

In the first generation truth is a conviction.

  • Those who hold that conviction, hold it dearly.
  • They do not know the meaning of compromise.
  • They are willing to die for what they believe to be true.
In the second generation the conviction becomes a belief.
  • Sons hold to the truths they have been taught by their fathers,
  • and defend their beliefs in discussion and debate.
  • However the keen edge of conviction has been blunted,
  • and adherence to a body of beliefs inherited from the fathers is not so much a passion as a persuasion.
In the third generation the belief becomes an opinion.
  • By then some members of the movement are willing to trade in their opinions.
  • They feel it is time for a change.
  • They start talking about renewal,
  • but they may look to the world for ideas.
If there's a fourth generation, it's what you see in the legacy denominations (note: I rarely use "mainline" anymore because they neither represent the mainstream of Christianity in beliefs, values, or numbers).

PS: Please remember that it was the half-way covenant (the compromise that it bred) that so upset godly men like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, and the Wesleys, setting off the first great awakening. During that time, denominational barriers broke down and like-minded men and women came together for the sake of the Gospel! Like others, I believe God is ready to do just that same thing again in our day. Realign, brothers and sisters, with those who name Christ - not just those who share your name brand!

Shamelessly ganked from FIDE-O

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