This weekend and this morning I was challenged by some friends (who are still my friends, btw – smile) who told me that the name of a young speaker I mentioned in a message a few weeks ago (and, by association, their book) is New Age. They heard this person’s name being bashed on Christian radio just the week before and wanted to talk with me about it. Everyone would know this person’s name and products if I chose to mention it, but I won’t. We had a good conversation about it and challenged each other to keep on digging in to the Word of God as the final authority on truth. I, personally, have never found anything by this particular author/speaker offensive to the Word of God, but I appreciated them confronting me and holding me accountable. We all need that, don’t we?

Which brings me to this post I read today over at Simply Kurt; he’s the junior high pastor at Saddleback. Kurt’s been posting some leadership nuggets that he took home from the Drive Conference that he and his staff attended last week.

So many people are afraid of change. The problem is that God seems to somehow mystically embrace it while at the same time staying true to His changeless Word and truths. Church history goes in cycles of change, and if you’re into studying church history at all, now is about the time for another shift in our culture.

Here’s some thoughts from Andy Stanley from the closing general session of Drive:

“The next generation product almost never comes from the previous generation.”

Andy’s takeaway for us:
“Change is coming, and change is usually good. Most of the significant changes in ministry won’t be brought about by those leading the way today. They will be brought about by the next generation of church leaders. Current church leaders need to decide if they will fight change or fund change. Older leaders need to learn to be students not just critics.”

That challenges me. Kurt’s questions challenged me, too, as they apply to youth ministry. Good stuff:

– How much of my current approach to [junior high] ministry is fresh? How much of it is simply stuff that has worked for me in the past and doesn’t seem broken so I’m not really open to changing?

– How can older [JH] leaders begin to “fund” some of the thinking and innovation of younger leaders?

– Am I willing to learn from younger leaders who will usher in next season of [JH] ministry, or am I a critic of their way of thinking, leading etc.?