Ravi Zacharias is probably one of the most brilliant Christian men that I know. I can think of no one who has the ability to speak with his words in such as way as to prick at the very heart of the needs of the church today. The video that you have just seen is one in which Ravi is addressing the state of the American church today. He is not attempting to put down the work of the church but to challenge it to rise to the challenge of evangelizing a generation that is moving towards ‘conceptual bankruptcy’.
He states that “an expenditure of words without an income of ideas will lead to conceptual bankruptcy.” This new generation of young people are longing “to come into the church to think.” But what they are sometimes finding is a church that has become so seeker friendly that the depth of the message is lost. We are repeating and parroting ideas for which we have no depth of understanding or for which we have not taken the time to question their validity or biblical soundness. And the crutch of all of this is that we are speaking to a generation who will call our bluff.
I love teaching more than anything. When I look into the eyes of my high school students, I see a hunger for truth. Now I know that is not what all of them are seeking but I choose to believe that many of them are truly seeking reasons and foundations for what they believe. Many of them tell me that they are so glad we dig deep in class discussions because they want to understand. I often leave my class saying, “Yes, there is hope!” The church is great at “rebounding” as Ravi states it. I want to be one of those Christians who are privileged to mentor and serve alongside of these young people. A student just today told me that what the church needs is older Christians who will come alongside of the young people and show them the way. This was an 11th grade student. He was asking for a mentor. It’s is sad that they have to ask.
Young people need to know that ideas matter. Pretty words without content are not what they are looking for. Ravi calls it being “masters of engineering feelings without much thought.” If we want to stir emotions and feelings in the church, we better have a biblical foundation to anchor them.
My challenge is for those who read this blog to find one young person to invest in. Teach them, show them, love them, disciple them in the faith. They are in no way a lost and hopeless generation. I thank God every day that He lets me teach and learn from them. I see hope. I see a generation that has the potential to change the face of the church for the better. They need grounding though and they get that from the true teaching of the fullness of the Word and the wisdom that the older ones of us have to offer.