Digging Wells of Revival for a Disconnected Generation
In order to revive our youth, we have to realize that keeping and growing them towards Christian adulthood is a serious business. We have to re-dig the wells of the fresh waters of revival.
We have seen more shootings, bombings, and killings by our children in schools and on suburban streets than ever. Recently, in Cape Town, South Africa, a small boy of 11 was shown on TV whipping a school teacher with a broomstick. It is only natural to ask “Why?” What has happened in our culture to allow mere children to become so callous and murderous?
I am convinced that a significant problem is the absence of moral absolutes in our culture. Violence seems to thrive in a moral vacuum. When kids don’t know right from wrong, what is to prevent them from venting their anger through violence and cold disregard for life? Restoring moral absolutes to our families and society is key to curbing the destruction. I believe there is a deeper, crying need that must be addressed as we restore moral absolutes and stand against a sin-filled world.
One of the major reasons our young people are succumbing to the lure of a godless culture and lashing out with rage is because they feel alone, disconnected, abandoned, and unsure of their identity. Many of our kids, even from good, Christian homes, feel disconnected from their parents and adults in general, and from society as a whole. In order to reach them, we must first understand their makeup and why they feel so painfully disconnected and begin to dig those old wells of revival.
Young people are growing up in a prosperous society with unprecedented career opportunities and access to limitless information. The high-tech devices that allow our children to connect electronically with people and places around the world are encouraging them to disconnect relationally with parents, church, and others. They are also facing a large cultural gap. No generation has experienced such change in culture in such a short space of time. Their views are being subtly impacted by postmodernism while adult’s views and values reflect those of their generation.
We need to design strategies to reclaim this generation and the generations to come. Isaac went back to the wells of his father. He did not dig new ones! Let us reform some of the old practices of our fathers, knowing that with every new century come new practices. We can take advantage of what the postmodern life offers, such as Facebook and the internet to do ministry. If we are going to retain our youth in our church, we need to reform, redefine, and be flexible while drinking from the old wells of our founding fathers.
Secondly, we need to teach our young people like we have never taught! This will help them think biblically and live for Jesus in the market place. Let us love them and inspire them to go back to the old wells. Isaac opened the wells that his father dug (v.18). In our search for truth, for that fountain of living water, it is good to make use of the earlier practices which have never been clouded by the corruption of later times. Let us inquire for the old ways, the wells of our fathers, which the adversaries of truth have stopped up. Isaac continued to dig these wells against opposition until he found peace and room enough in the well they called Rehoboth.
There is room for all generations in the family of Christ. Let us be firm and keep up our communion with God and we will find a place for all.