The friction between me and my grandparents was mainly while I was
One of my Grandma's first questions to me everytime we met was, 'what are you going to do when you grow
I just finally started saying something like a hit man just to get her off my back. ;-D
was sincere and a bulwark in the family.
After I became a Christian I came to respect her greatly.
couldn't understand why her generation only wanted to know whether one went to church instead of also asking whether they
were Christian, prayed, studied the word etc.
This was the norm concerning how her generation and Baptist upbringing
As long as they had a KJV, went to church and didn't drink wine
everything was all right.
matter whether they read that KJV as long as they had one.
It seems that the older generation was of the persuasion
that as long as you go to church, everything is all right with God.
Part of the problem elders seem to have is when
the younger generation dares to speak up at all with any conviction.
"God prefers to work within the scheme of many
interacting with each other, rather than an isolated generation. One of His most revealing titles for Himself
is "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." He is the God of many generations....
Therefore, let us make up our minds
to not view each other after the flesh, but after the life and calling of the Spirit within us. Let
us deliberately mingle
with other generations, yielding to the Holy Spirit as He works out the rough edges within us through this interaction. We
need each other, not only to complete the Great Commission, but to complete that holy work of the Spirit that will make us
humble and pliable, keeping to the straight and narrow and yet flowing with the new moves of the Spirit."
I believe that ever since Pentecost (Acts 2), the Holy Spirit has
falling on all generations. Still, the so called modern
strategy of churches that divides people into groups which includes
different age groups has made that difficult.
"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it
come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of
my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters
prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on
my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy" (Acts 2)
As far as separating people
by age, this is going on in the so
called interest of ministering efficiently.
This is a modern strategy of many
churches to more efficiently reach out to the diversity of hurting people groups in the world. While this approach might prove
to be more efficient, overall it is
proving to be more divisive than helpful. Many of my experiences with churches that
used this approach were that a kind of Cliquishness, Group Think and Fortress Mentality were present. The result being that
while they might have helped some, they also alienated and harmed others that did not fit their narrow, specialized and cliquish
standards. How can we still hang onto our segregated and specialized fortress philosophies in light of who Christ is and what
He did on the cross? It is ironic that Jesus Christ died on the cross to break down the barriers between Jew and Gentile and
the subgroups. Then the modern church creates all kinds of programs, philosophies and strategies that divide and segregate
these groups again.
A local pastor/author wrote a book quite a while back about
unleashing Christians into different
ministries. His explanation of
this strategy was quite exciting to me until I read a particular
chapter in his book.
This chapter spoke of a house ministry that I
was living in at the time. When I read this I could tell that this
must have been taking the word of the man that
actually ran the ministry. When preaching one Sunday this
gave the location of the house ministry that was
completely inaccurate. When he asked the alleged leader of this
to come up front and describe this ministry to the
congregation, it was also clear that even this leader did not really
know or want to know what was going on in his own outreach. He spoke of a particular woman as his best example, we will call
her Mary. A friend and I that actually lived at this house looked at each other in unbelief while he shared how this woman
had changed so dramatically.
The pastor/author has truly been a great inspiration to me over the years. However, there
was one MAJOR and MISSING link to his unleashing philosophy. It is the issue of accountability and the interrelation of ministries.
We should NOT Just be talking about accountability to God and to the Leaders but the accountability of these leaders as well.
How can these leaders expect anything but confusion and rebellion if they do not teach accountability and communication through
example. The reason this pastor/author and the leader/loose cannon of this particular ministry did not want to talk too much
about accountability is probably that they would then have to lead by example. The leader of this house ministry would minister
ALONE with some of the unstable women from the house until the wee hours of the morning. This showed me that accountability
was not in his so called strategy and avoiding the appearance of evil was not
too important to him either.
he was allegedly accountable to was exposed
several years later for having an adulterous affair with a woman for eight
years and was defrocked with his picture and sad story in a local Christian Newspaper. This also in my opinion demonstrates
an inherent weakness in segregated and specialized parachurch ministry.
If a leader is not able or willing to actively and consistently
and insist on cross communication, interrelation and
accountability from those he sends out into all these separate
and is not willing to lead by example he can expect more confusion and alienation than he can fruit.
"For of this sort
are those who creep into households and make
captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by
always learning and never able to come to the
knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 3ff)
Many Christians simply have
missed the point concerning ministry.
Other Side Ministries
In the story about the Good Samaritan, the Priest
and Levite pass by on the OTHER SIDE when they see a man beaten and laying by the road. Who knows where they were headed.
They could have been going to their particular target ministry or it could have been after ministry hours.
approach can be even worse than the Priest and Levite approach. In the priest and Levite approach they pass by on the other
side. In the Specialized approach the Christian runs roughshod over the wounded and hurting man on the way to his officially
specialized ministry at church across town. This is missing the forest for the trees across town.
ministered in everday and ordinary places. He did not turn off his light while on the way to his official ministry at the
synagogue across town.
"...Jesus ministered in ordinary everyday places and didn't build or
even suggest the necessity
to build special centers or
headquarters...The setting for the development of true discipleship as we see it worked out
in the New Testament is not in large numbers. The making of a disciple is a costly personal process feasible only in small
groupings where the right kind of attention can be given" (Cells For Life, pg. 18,19 Trudinger)
Participating in Target
Group Ministries creates a myopia and tunnel vision that ignores the needs of those we cross paths with in our daily lives.
I have seen this over and over in these kind of
ministries. One guy I know is always on his way to a ministry across town
or is recovering or preparing for it. He literally misses multitudes of opportunities right in front of him. This astounds
me how many miss the people that God puts in their path in the name of being official across town. This modern approach is
not Love at all. I don't think this is what God had in mind because this is not how
he did it.