On the way to church to lead worship for our student ministry, I drove past a sign displayed in a field.
The first line read: Millennials are ruining this country
The second line: Turn or burn
As a 30 something, my generation is often generalized as lazy, godless, and selfish. I’ll be the first to admit this is accurate for many of my peers.
But not all of us.
There are many 20 and 30 somethings who are preaching the gospel, leading believers in worship, planting churches, running ministries, raising our young children to love God, and who (believe it or not) read Scripture and pray every day.
Likewise, not all 40, 50, or 60 year olds are living a life that honors God. I mean, let’s be honest.
This is why we shouldn’t paint broad generalizations over whole groups of people.
But this sign exposes a much deeper issue.
Somewhere along to way, we’ve confused boldness with complaining loudly.
Boldness is speaking the truth in love.
15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. ~Ephesians 4:15-16
Boldness is getting on our knees and interceding in prayer for all generations now and the generations yet to be born.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. ~Colossians 4:2
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. ~James 5:16
Boldness is rolling up our sleeves and serving in our churches and communities to help rise up and mature a generation of young believers who will radically reach this world for Christ.
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ~Ephesians 4:29
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9
Boldness is speaking life and God’s truth over this generation so that they may know the freedom God is waiting to give them from their sin.
5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. ~Colossians 4:5-6
Boldness is not a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal that seeks to dishonor others.
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing…4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others… ~1 Corinthians 13:1-3,5
The enemy of our soul has come to accuse and condemn people to hell. Followers of Jesus are to lead people to God.
This sign does nothing to change the fact that more and more individuals in my generation are not only leaving the church, but Christianity as a whole.
I promise you, someone in their 20’s or 30’s isn’t going to read a sign like that and suddenly surrender their life to Christ.
This isn’t boldness but a resounding gong saying, “Hey Millennials, go to hell!”
That night, in our youth room, seven students surrendered their life to Christ.
To God be the glory!
There was no screaming, accusing, or signs that condemned.
Only some of those “ruining” 20 and 30 somethings who chose to proclaim God’s truth and love over a group of hurting and lost students.
Instead of complaining and condemning a whole generation to hell, we co-labored as the hands and feet of Jesus to provide a place for the Holy Spirit to take over-and take over is just what He did!
21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. ~Proverbs 18:21
Our words have earthly and Kingdom consequences.
You have the power of life and death.
Which one will you choose?