The following is the newsletter article I put together for December:
Do hard things! That is the motto of The Rebelution (yes, that is spelled correctly). The Rebelution is the cry of a generation of young people who are “rebelling against the low expectation of an ungodly culture”. Lord willing we will be attending a Rebelution conference this summer in Iowa. I would strongly encourage you to check out their website at http://www.therebelution.com.
As I was pondering this call to a generation—to do hard things—I had to question myself. Do I do hard things? Are we as a church modeling for our young people—do hard things?!?! I see the example of some of the men in our church laboring to put up porches, trim bushes, load food for the community, and serve and serve and serve. You teach our generation something, so thank you. But I also am forced to ask another question. Do we do hard things in our faith? Do we read difficult books that drive us deeper to the throne of grace? Do we struggle over the hard texts in Scripture? Do we want to know more of God and labor and labor and labor until we do? Are we missionaries; getting our hands dirty, sharing the gospel to hard people in hard places? Do we model for our young people a passion to know God more fully or do we give of a vibe of contentment and satisfaction with how much of God we have?
Very shortly most of us will be going through Don’t Waste Your Life in our Sunday school classes. There are some difficult things in that book. You might come across words you do not understand. You might have to read over a sentence a few times. God might drive you to your knees in prayer. He might blow your mind with how vast He is. I urge you to go deep. Do not be satisfied. Yes God is simple. Yes the Gospel is so simple a child can grasp it (so long as he/she has been regenerated). But, dear church, we will spend all of eternity digging the “depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33)
Dear brothers our young men are NOT doing hard things. The culture is not expecting it of them. They are not being raised up as men of God. Many of them are not currently bearing marks of manhood (see last article). The lack of involvement of our young men in small groups, positions of leadership training, Christmas plays, prayer groups, etc. is a reflection of this. Unless we raise the bar of expectation and help these boys become men, DO NOT expect this to change. They will continue to act like children. At the age of 17, 27, and maybe even 37. Brothers, we must model for them—do hard things! In our physical labor and in our spiritual labor. Brothers, live lives that reflect an unquenchable passion for Jesus Christ. Live lives that say—we do hard things! We care about theology! We care about holiness! We care about Jesus!
Dear sisters our young women are NOT doing hard things. The culture is not expecting it of them. Actually, the culture is expecting women to be manlier than our men. I plead with you, in tears, do not let our young women believe the lies of the world! Model for them what it means to do hard things. Tell them there is no shame in raising a family. Model for them what it means to be submissive to a husband. Display in your life that you treasure Jesus more than materials, makeup, and men. But display for them also that you treasure your husband. These girls need women to show them how to be women. I am grateful for the leadership of my wife and Beth in teaching some of these girls how to cook, clean, etc. Dear sisters I plead with you—teach these young women what it means to be like Abraham’s wife—Sarah.
Brothers and Sisters I am pleading with you that we might be a Titus 2 church. Training young women and urging young men! Not only our future but also our present obedience to God depends on it! He says teach, model, lead our young people—do it!
Love in Christ,