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God, Forgive Our Youthful Arrogance

I love church planters and I love cutting edge, innovative ministry. I’m encouraged by the growth of a kind of Christianity that calls us back to the New Testament model of worship and ministry as we head into the turbulent waters of this next decade. But I’m concerned with what I perceive sometimes to be youthful arrogance, and this concern includes myself.

I read a lot of books and blogs about how to do church today. Of course there will always be things with which we agree and disagree, but one trend that bothers me is the idea that there is an emerging movement within Christianity of leaders who have finally figured out how to do church biblically, and asserts that this has been lost by other recent generations of Christian leaders.

In other words, I think a lot of young leaders assume that the “old guys” missed the mark and we’re finally figuring out how to reach our culture. The fallacy here is that we are perhaps the most spoiled generation that western culture has ever seen. So we want our cake but don’t want to recognize the work of those who baked it. We want our freedom and liberties but don’t want to recognize the blood spilled for it. We want our missional Christianity, but don’t want to recognize the hard work of previous generations who laid the foundation for where we are today.

I think we should continue to nurture a more missional Christianity that resembles the church of the New Testament era, but we can’t ignore the contributions of Spurgeon and Moody, Graham and Swindoll, Criswell and Montgomery Boice and so many others.

Hey twenty-something (or 32ish like me), you didn’t invent the wheel and neither did I. It was handed down to us by calloused hands. Maybe we should pause long enough to recognize the great work of God in history to redeem mankind to Himself before we were ever thought about.

Perhaps, in place of our youthful arrogance, a little humility before the awe-inspiring God of all generations is in order.