4 Things High School Students can do to Revive their Generation
(This post was recently published in the One21 Magazine, Issue 3. Kevan Duke is a long time partner of One21, a discipleship pastor with Crossview Christian Church, and a music artist.)
Re-capture what it means to be Christ-like
What do you think it means to be Christ-like? How would you measure such a thing? If you are anything like me, you tend to associate this with moral living and your obedience to a few important commands like ‘make disciples’ and ‘love one another’. What if there was a more practical way to live like Jesus? Perhaps there is.
Missional teachers like Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch have challenged us to rethink ‘Christ-likeness’ by pointing out what Jesus really accomplished through His incarnation (you can look it up – the P’s of incarnation, The Forgotten Ways). Jesus values presence and proximity – He became one of us, identified with us, spent time in our common places, and suffered alongside us. All the while demonstrating incredible humility and powerlessness. He was constantly aware of how the Spirit was working in the people around Him and joined in that work. All of this prepared the way for Him to proclaim the good news that the kingdom of God had finally arrived. ‘Incarnational’ living is by far the best thing you could do to revive your generation.
Take Jesus’ plea for unity seriously
According to Jesus (John 17), the world would be able to see the gospel through the unity of his followers. Yet, all you have to do is look around while you drive down the road to see that The Church could not possibly be more divided than it is right now. As a result, it is difficult to imagine that the world truly sees the ‘good news’ when they look at us.
When Jesus looks at your city, how many churches does He see? One. Wrestling with that idea alone could end up reviving your generation. What if we began to elevate unity above doctrinal statements? What if our common mission became so critical to us that we couldn’t imagine going it alone? What kind of transformation would our cities undergo if we stopped trying to build our own subkingdoms and began to seek the one God is building all around us? This is already happening in cities near you – the dividing walls of hostility within the body of Christ are cracking all around us.
Create something that moves us forward
The church has tried to emulate the popular culture for too long, making lower quality imitations of things that weren’t worthy of being reproduced. We have become so obsessed with developing a separate, more purified copy of the real culture that we have forgotten that our mission is proclaiming the good news within this culture.
I personally believe that people who follow Jesus should be among the most creative people in the world. Not only do we have an intimate relationship with the God who dreamed up, designed, and set the entire universe in motion, but scripture provides a profound look at how healthy and sustainable designs should function and what happens when they become dysfunctional. Do you want to revive your generation? Show them that creativity has an intimate connection with truth.
Stop using old adages and express truth in fresh ways
We are a people dominated by old adages – familial, political, social, and theological. Everywhere we turn someone has come up with a way to summarize a common belief into a simple, reproducible phrase; but in doing so we have missed the profound essence of truth itself. One of the great western lies is that truth can be captured, set in a box, and delivered to the masses. Truth, in fact, only takes root and explodes into life once it cuts through our calloused hearts – callouses formed by the cliché based belief systems we’ve inadvertently subscribed to over the years .
What we desperately need is for the next generation to speak truth in fresh and inspiring ways. Don’t underestimate the power of language; it is the deciding factor in whether people understand the message. Cliché is the death of innovation…and theology for that matter. Revive your generation by speaking truth in a way that resonates with them on the most profound level.
Find more great posts from Kevan at http://www.kevanwduke.com/.