Forging the future
To burn white hot and be molded by the Spirit of God we need to ensure that we are indeed people of the book. If we are to forge the future as preachers and as churches we need to look to the past, both in terms of faithfulness and at failure. The history of the church is littered with faithful churches who preached for generations only to be replaced by less faithful churches that died out very quickly. If we are to forge the future it must be on the anvil of Biblical faithfulness married to a contextual relevance. John Stott in his very useful book The Contemporary Christian suggests that there are two errors we need to avoid. The first one is where a local church consider themselves to be faithful because they are faithful to the scriptures but don't engage the modern world so they are unfaithful. The second one is seeking to be relevant but they don't open the Scriptures so are irrelevant. To convey truth to our generation and leave a legacy for the one to follow we need to be people of the book, soaked in scripture aware of the Word's life changing power and to speak it with authority. Yet we need to do this winsomely and with wisdom, the word if relevant for every generation yet we might not be. Stott points out elsewhere that to be faithful preachers we need to cross the bridge from the world of the Bible to the contemporary world. If we do the first probably we will be well on our way to the second. The orthodoxy of tomorrow is the same as the orthodoxy of the past and will be the orthodoxy of the future. Its why when we begin a journey we need to keep hold of old maps, even in an electronic format for there are people who have been on the same journey from whom we can learn. Yet we need to make sure we are speaking our orthodoxy in a way that our hearers hear the authentic word of God through the scriptures in a way that they can understand.
Our Generation needs to leave a legacy of faithfulness so that in the next generation the Works of God will be commended to them.
Our faithfulness must also be to the Gospel, it has been said that we lose the gospel once we start to assume the gospel. As evangelical believers we need to make sure that when we talk about the gospel we are faithful to what is revealed in Scripture. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, to unpack that in our generation and throughout our live times is to forge the future for white hot worshippers who will one day gather around the throne of God, with white hot worshippers from every tribe and tongue.
The mission of God will not fail, the mission of denominations and churches will only be a success if we are engaged in His mission to go into all the world and preach the gospel, teaching them everything that He has commanded.