No! Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot!
Ok, people. I have been noticing something going on in the churches that is targeting the minds of the leadership. Exactly what I have been seeing became clear this morning after an intense time of spontaneous worship. I’m going to put this out to you very straightforwardly. My hope is that you will share it and, together, we will beseech the Lord to shatter a stronghold that is emerging.
God’s next move will be among the young people. That is not news. I mean what other large group is there that needs rescuing from the kingdom of darkness? The enemy is anticipating this. And he already has implemented a plan to short circuit this upcoming revival.
Let me explain the problem, then I will expose the enemy’s plan. Today’s young people suffer the most from poor parenting within a culture that caters to their carnality. Their parents, teachers and other role models are themselves deeply wounded and immature. When God sweeps these young people into His kingdom they are going to turn to the older believers for parenting.
The church is packed with mature believers who have worked hard to develop good character. They are equipped in many ways to help ground new believers in the great traditions, history and disciplines of the faith. Most of the young people caught in God’s net will have never been churched or exposed to scripture. They will be profoundly dependent upon mature believers until they become solid in Christ.
My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you … Galatians 4:19
Maturing these new believers will be quite a challenge. It is the elders among us who will shepherd this flock. Not the leadership or specially gifted or the fancy ones. But the many men and women in the ranks who are steadfast and who are capable of being the parents, teachers and role models that our young desperately need.
Here is the enemy’s plan. He cannot stop God from rescuing the young people, but he can stop them from becoming mature Christians. He is already setting his plan in motion. Here it is:
1.Leaders in the church are aware of God’s desire to win the young people. They long to partner with God. That’s good.
2.The enemy is twisting that good desire by creating tunnel vision among our leaders. In other words, ALL focus is being shifted to winning young adults.
3.But the enemy has deceived many in leadership about HOW to win young adults. So, methods of winning them borders on pandering to what they like. We will play their music. We will give attention to their gifts. We will give them a platform. We will dress like them and talk like them.
There are two problems with this: First, this current crop of young people has been pandered to all their lives. They are looking for real, safe grownups who will call them to maturity, not more pandering. Second, God will bring them into His kingdom in His time and in His way. We don’t have to make it happen.
4.This pandering is being done at the expense of the many grounded believers in the ranks. Their gifts and wisdom are being ignored. They are being marginalized in the name of winning the young.
5.This means that when God sweeps a bunch of youngsters into the church there will be very few parents, teachers and role models there for them. Those with a good understanding of the faith; those with strong character, and those well-formed in Christ will be gone. They will have left seeking a place where they are treasured.
6.There will be too many new believers for the leadership to shepherd. So, once again, our young will be left to parent themselves. We all know how well that works out. As an aside, the leadership will be bereft of prayer support as well.
That is the enemy’s plan. He is forming a way of thinking among our leaders that seems good, but is not God. This way of thinking, if left unchecked, will develop into a mental stronghold that will completely control the perspective of church leaders.
This is how we pray against it:
Father God, in the name of Jesus, I ask You to shatter the mental stronghold that is trying to, or has taken, our leadership captive. I ask You to destroy the evil spirits that live within that stronghold. I ask that You completely destroy this evil plan against the maturing of new believers.
Deliver those leaders who have been attacked by the evil one. Restore their rationality and free will. Adjust their perspective according to Your will.
Strengthen those of Your people who fill the ranks of Your church. Prepare them to parent, teach and guide the children shortly to be born into Your kingdom.
Angels! Go to war on our behalf!
Pray this prayer often! God is much, much, much greater than the schemes of the devil.
We are not ignorant of his (Satan’s) schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:11
Blessings upon you and those you love,