The Times They Are A-Changin

bob dylan‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ was written by Bob Dylan in 1963, but it could have been written today. The truth is the culture is always changing because people are constantly changing and yet the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and forever.”

Our challenge as Christians is to connect people (who are always changing) with a God who never changes. The apostle Paul said it like this, “I become all things to all men that by all means I might win some.”

If we want to reach children with the Gospel, we must speak their language, and the language that children speak today is “technology.” The following is a quote from USA Today entitled, “Four Hurdles For Disney’s Iger.” In 2005 Robert Iger replaced Michael Eisner as CEO of Disney.

Disney’s key audience of children is changing as fast as technology. In a trend known as “age compression,” children are exposed to edgy entertainment earlier — and outgrow innocent fare such as Winnie the Pooh or Mickey Mouse at younger ages.

Kids also leave behind traditional toys sooner, clamoring instead for video games, iPods and mobile phones. Rivals for Disney in the kid market now include companies such as Sony, Apple and Nokia.

In the church, we have a similar challenge that Disney has. Kids have changed a lot in the last thirty years, but the Gospel has not. We must create sophisticated tools to reach this generation and maintain the purity of the Gospel at the same time.

In other words, change our methods, but not our message. It seems to me that churches get in one ditch or the other. A lot of churches are refusing to change. They are still using the same tools they used fifty years ago. If you thought it was cool when you were a child, it’s unlikely it’s cool today.

On the other hand, a greater concern is churches that change their message to be relevant today. The other day a good friend asked me this question, “Can a church be cool and Pentecostal?”

I believe we can.

Bob Dylan was pretty quick to “throw out the old.” I agree that some old things need to be replaced to reach this generation but some “old things” work with every generation.

  • Despite the differences in generations aren’t you glad that Jesus died for all generations?
  • The blood of Jesus is just as powerful today as it was for believers in the first century.
  • The Word of God works for this generation just like it has worked for all generations.
  • When kids get filled with the Holy Spirit, they don’t get filled with a “junior” Holy Spirit, they get the same Holy Spirit that Peter and John received 2,000 years ago.

In these last days our kids don’t need less of God’s Word, they need more of God’s Word. We have a responsibility to give this generation the tools they need to fight the enemy. It is not the time to back off of the Spirit-filled message. Yes, you can be cool, relevant and Pentecostal.

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