In March, I will be attending the Messenger Fellowship Summit, which has leaders from all over the world gathering to provide answers to specific questions about the present-day church. My previous two blog posts tackled the questions, “Where is the Church Headed?“, “Why Are So Many Leaving the Church?” and “Why is Doing Church So Hard?” I will continue to give voice to other areas that branch from these important questions.
This is an interesting question that books could be written about because you really have to split it up into three parts in order to come to a semblance of a conclusion. Defining what the Gospel is; what culture is (and what stream of culture); and what morals are being corrupted, is important.
Candidly, the Gospel is represented as sharing the good word of Jesus and what He did to reconcile God to sinners. It was proclaimed openly amidst persecution throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa and even into Asia. The promise of new life in Christ was more cherished than a mortal life on earth. Something that we have little grasp of today in our Western world.
However, the question asks how do we express the Gospel? This is an intriguing question considering only ten years ago college students would have naturally been sharing the four spiritual laws to other peers. Even today, Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) is trying to find new ways to adapt an old way of evangelizing to a new culture, overloaded in the information age.
I don’t really have an answer here so I will move on.
As I stated before, we are in a historical moment between two very different generational groups: the Boomers and the Millennials. Two very different groups, with different trends, approaches, semantics, etc. To not value the differences is to miss the whole point altogether.
My expressed relief and concern that the questions I have been blogging about are being asked by Boomers shows a legitimate concern and naïveté on how to engage a cultural group (Millennials) that are closing their ears to them by the minute. Because the real base of the question isn’t about how to express the Gospel to a full culture, it is the culture that is represented by MTV, the Grammys and the internet age. They are losing Millennials and they know it.
I believe this is the greatest division between Boomers and Millennials. While Boomers could rightly accuse Millennials of being soft on things like sex before marriage, stances on GLBT rights and abortion; Millennials could rightly accuse Boomers of not having empathy toward social justice issues, GLBT rights and overall hypocrisy. There is clear validity in both, which confirms that all still fall short of the glory of God.
You see, when one cultural group is defining moral corruption for another cultural group, it leads to a dead end. It can come off as condescending and simply leaves everyone walking away from the table.
So how do we express the Gospel in a time when our culture seems so morally corrupt?
After I broke that question apart, the one thing that I am missing is the answer! The reality is, I need to hear more opinions on this before I really can form one. I want to hear from Millennials and Boomers because for another 30-40 years, we will all be coexisting together, not to mention the generation that will come after us. However, if we can learn from some of the points I laid out above, we could build a bridge earlier to those coming after us. That alone should give us some hope.