“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child: but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15).
PAUSE awhile and think deeply: what would the Church look like in the next twenty-five to thirty years if our Lord delays His coming? Or, to be more specific: what would your own Church, your congregation, your denomination, look like at that time? Have we ever thought about it? Well, even if we have, let’s not be in a hurry to answer!
For us to come up with a realistic answer, we must first cast a deep, discreet look at the youth in Church today and compel ourselves to sincerely assess how much steps we have taken to prepare and equip them to commence the process of taking over from a number of us in the next twenty-five to thirty years. Indeed, in the next twenty-five years, many of these tender youths in the Church would be in their late thirties and mid-forties. Many of them at that age would have become parents rearing up their own children who would in turn become adults too in the not too distant future. And then, of course, many of them would have also become our pastors, missionaries, evangelists and Church leaders manning sensitive positions in the Church. Generational change is an inevitable phenomenon. But it always appears to catch the generality of sons of men napping!
A Church can be vibrant, holy and zealous today. But how far that Church is able to sustain these virtues and manage its generational change successfully (and replicate itself in its present form in the next generation) will constitute the test of its strength. We look at some Churches today, and we bemoan the decay, the backsliding and apostasy that abound everywhere. We wonder what has happened, why the world has become so intertwined with the Church, and has in fact achieved a perfect blend with what once was a holy, vibrant, non-compromising Church of God. Now, before we unleash our condemnatory whips on the tender backs of that Church or those Churches, let us also remember that some of those Churches started so well and were models to their contemporaries when they were still in the hands of their founding fathers. Many of them extolled and observed the highest standards Christian virtues and qualities and practiced Christianity as the Apostles taught and practiced it. So it now makes it mandatory that we have to wait until we have successfully prosecuted our own generational change and transfer before we can pontificate about the ills of others. Then, and only then would we be in a position to know whether we would direct the whips on ourselves or at those Churches.