Think about it! People like Peter, Paul, Phillip, John, Timothy, Lydia, Priscilla — these, among many others, were the voice of Christ to the first church — and its amazing how these few people expanded the word of Christ throughout the known world.
Think about it! People like Paul Clark, Barry McGuire, Nancy Honeytree, Larry Norman, Chuck Smith, Randy Stonehill — these, among many others, were the voice of Christ to the ‘60s generation. Their prophetic word pioneered a movement that captured and defined the heart of a counterculture and changed the face of Christianity in America and around the world.
Think about it! The millennial generation is poised to become the new pioneers in a new frontier, the marketplace. Who will be the voice of Christ to them? We as leaders of the Catch Ministry, believe that God is calling us to be that voice. Take a minute and consider the territory covered if each of us spoke the voice of Christ to one Millennial through a one-on-one relationship of mutual interest?
Think about it! The Millennials and the Boomers are far more alike than they are different. The non-churched Christians and non Christian Millennials between the age of 24-39 are currently undergoing the same social and religious upheavals the Boomers did during the ‘60s and ‘70s. And get this — they love the Jesus people’s early prophetic music and its transparency, honesty, and spiritual passion.
Think about it! The results from the “Your Participation Matters!” questionnaire confirmed the Catch Ministry’s desire to be voice of Christ to the Millennials is in alignment with the Catch Ministry’s Purpose and Vision. Incorporated in 2012 as a cyber church that meets all of the Internal Revenue Service’s recognized attributes of a church, the Catch Ministry is not in any way similar to a local community church that seeks to bring people into its building. Rather, the Purpose of the Catch Ministry is to develop disciples to go out into all nations and fulfill the Ministry’s Vision, which is to introduce the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward — to everyone, everywhere.
As the voice of Christ to the Millennials, our Purpose is not to bring the Millennials in to some place that does not exist within the Catch Ministry, but to ask all of our Catch Citizens to go out and introduce the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward — to Millennials everywhere — as the voice of Christ.
As the builder of diverse communities for discipleship, the Minister for Discipleship and Community, Pastor John Shirk’s comments represent the majority of respondents to “Your Participation Matters!” when he said,
“The Great Commission was not for the church to create a place where people could come learn about Jesus. The Great Commission was to go into the world with the message of Jesus.”
Think about it! Unlike so many ministries, the Catch Ministry is not going upward in age and inward in focus. Rather, we are intentionally going downward in age and outward in focus. When comparing many ministries, one Millennial participant from our “Your Participation Matters!” questionnaire said this:
“I know there are older people who might like me, and me them, but generally speaking, it appears older people naturally go up in age and inward in focus. I do not think there is an intent in them to go downward in age and outward in focus.”
We are going to prove to the younger generations that the Catch Ministry Boomers are committed to go downward in age and outward in focus — as in Grace Turned Outward.
Think about it! We have seen through this study that Millennials are no longer just a younger generation with their heads in their cellphones and tablets, but they are a formidable and present force, actively shaping the future of our industries, politics, arts, neighborhoods and, yes, some churches. But they are scared and alone. Their relationships for a large part are virtual, and they feel isolated. Many struggle silently with mental illness. It is not uncommon for them to be taking part in counseling. They face an unstable world plagued by climate change, global warming, terrorism, failed leadership and a crisis of who to believe. Most of all, they feel unnoticed and unloved. It’s almost as if they feel like they have been abandoned.
Think about it! We’ve found that Boomers are not as technologically challenged as they once seemed, but they are not engaged. They see the same unstable world that the Millennials see, but they yield to the fact that they are either retired or soon will be and therefore they feel justified in not really caring much about the world since they will be leaving soon. They have a diminishing sense of responsibility for the world they leave behind. Christian Boomers may have vast biblical knowledge but it is largely unapplied head knowledge, and they play with theology as if it were a Scrabble game.
Think about it! But Boomers do not have to think very long to remember the political and social upheaval of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Many of the same questions the Millennials are asking today were a part of their vocabulary then. For that reason, the searching and protest common to the Boomers’ explosion of creativity in early rock music is cut from the same cloth as much of Millennial expression today. So there are connections, but Boomers will have to come out of their own disengagement to take advantage of whatever these two generations may have in common.
Think about it?
Who gave Christ a Voice for you?
Who do the Millennials have?
We believe the Catch Ministry is the voice of Christ for the Millennials.
Think about it! This new partnership — these new relationships — will provide the platform to offer a Christianity yet to see the light of twenty-first century day.
“Not a word was spoken, the church bells all were broken” I’ve always interpreted that lyric from the final verse of “American Pie” to be a lament of the church of that time’s inability to communicate anything that generation needed to hear about the saving love of God. Thank God the Jesus movement was there to deliver the message the institutional churches of that day were silent on.
Today’s church bells are not silent. The problem is they’re gonging too loudly! They’re playing the same tune as corrupt politicians. Some are even humming along with the craziest conspiracy theories which vilify anyone who dares thing differently. And if you listen carefully some church bells do seem to be playing a famous tune from the early 70’s. Unfortunately, that song is “Money” by Pink Floyd.
Millennials and others may have grown weary the clanging of all these loveless bells (1Cor 13:1) and will dismiss the true gospel as the same old tune the institutional churches keep playing. This is what we’re up against. The solution is so simple for Christain boomers to figure out. It’s the same message we heard. It’s not about religion. It’s not about church. It’s not about conforming politically or socially or culturally to anything. It’s about the fact that God loves you and will always be there for you. If we heard this and followed in spite of broken church bells, then people of any age group can get it today.
Amen! Thank. you, John.
Like to add another Amen to your comments brother John!
While it may not seem germane to the above message, I applaud your use of Auguste Rodin’s sculpture “The Thinker” (originally called “The Poet”).
What many people may not realize is that the statue was originally conceived as part of Rodin’s “Gates of Hell”—a pair of huge bronze doors designed for a proposed museum-of-art in Paris that never got built.
Rodin’s intent was that the naked man sits atop a rock pensively observing below him the twisting figures of those suffering in the circles of Hell as described in “The Divine Comedy” (also known as “Dante’s Inferno”), the 14th Century poem by Dante Alighieri.
Even though the museum was never constructed, Rodin continued to model a series of small clay figures that represented some of the poem’s tormented characters and eventually built the larger bronze statue of “The Thinker” which now occupies the gardens of the Rodin Museum.
All in all, even though Rodin is noted for other famous sculptures, artwork, and literary pursuits, this particular unfinished – and arguably Rodin’s most famous – endeavor took 37-years: from the 1880 commission for the museum doors until his death in 1917.
Staring into the depths of Hell would certainly be a cause for serious introspection.
What do you suppose The Thinker is contemplating?
If the circles of Hell were made available for us to see, what would be our thoughts?
Would we ponder our past? Our present? Our future? Or all three?
Or would we not concern ourselves with it?
Think about it…
Interesting piece of new information. Thanks, Bob, for the historic context.
Thanks for the lesson as so much well said. I hope millennials will feel comfortable coming to our Lord thru his son Jesus and realize that well spoken and written phrase of not about religion, or church but, God loves each and every one of us and how important to have that relationship thru his son Jesus. Take care, and God Bless.