My set of ministry questions came out of my perception of Gen Y guys in the Australian church. Lots of Gen Y Christian guys want to ‘fix’ the church, and like to practise ‘DIY theology’. There is a certain desire to ‘go to Bible college’. There are bloggers, there are fanboys of American figureheads…
Lots of us young Christian men really think we know stuff. There is a deadly arrogance in my generation. Of course I’m hardly immune.
But this is part of a bigger issue for us Christians at large in Western society. We think we can personally ‘learn’ things in order to ‘choose’ a ministry career. However, in other neighbourhoods of world Christianity — the parts that are growing — new ministers are chosen by others because they’re already tangibly becoming fit for the task in their communities. Steve Addison’s blog documents this disconnect between our Western obsessions with information and systems, and the rhythm of flourishing Christian movements. Steve for example critiques the idea of ‘church planting assessment’.
There is also a disconnect between our self-assurance and the stark fact of the decline of Western Christianity. Would God give us humility!
I’m all for building the church. I’m all for the renewal of the West, even though I want other horizons. But there are some really hard questions we have to ask ourselves if we’re to entrust ourselves and our churches to God. If the next generation of Christian leaders is comprised of Gen Y know-it-alls, God help us.
Arthur Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.