All Eyes on the Main Man
In October 2010, at a Barisan National Convention held at the MCA Building, the Prime Minister warned about the four diseases that the delegates must watch for. The four diseases mentioned were delusion, amnesia, inertia and arrogance.
The effects of the four diseases include turning love to hate, hope to anger and support into opposition. There is so much truth in what was said that we in the church need to pay heed for ourselves. We need to continually evaluate how we do church or else the church will no longer be relevant; especially to the younger generation.
In the book Essential Church, co-authored by Thom Rainer and Sam Rainer III there is a profound chapter, "All Eyes on the Main Man". The book challenges us to reclaim the generation of dropouts (generally students) that is prevailing in the churches in the United States, especially those in the 18-22 age bracket.
In the chapter "All Eyes on the Main Man" the authors highlighted concerns that we as leaders need to be aware of. They are:
- The church inevitably takes on the characteristics and personality of its leaders. And when students begin to see that they are not essential to the health of the church, they pack up and leave.
- We neglect investing in future generations just because we are achieving successes now. We ignore potential problems if we are winning in the here and now. We don't like to think about the risks involved in our decisions if things are going our way.
- Leaders have often championed for servant leadership but the students observe characteristics like caring, authenticity, and inspiring missing in many of them. We must acknowledge that you can't lead people unless they trust your leadership.
- How well a leader engages and relates to this age group correlates directly with how long they will stay in the church. Don't make the mistake of thinking that teens will 'grow into' the message you preach. Research has found that the older the teen, the more critical it is to reach them at that stage of life.
The reason the PM mentioned the four diseases at the convention was to remind his fellow colleagues that BN needs to be relevant to changing times. Having held power for 53 years is no guarantee that they will continue to do so if they neglect the younger generation.
Likewise the same applies to the church. We need to reclaim these generations and demonstrate that the church is essential to their lives. We need to meet them where they are and to prove to them that a biblically sound body of believers is essential to the lives of every Christian, young and old alike.