“Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations?” (Proverbs 27:23-24).
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil,” (Ephesians 5:15).
As a Baby Boomer—albeit a small town and very sheltered one—I recall the decade of the 60s as a time of upheaval, protest, and rebellion; a time when traditional values were challenged on every front, and when images of unkempt, unwashed college students were beamed across our television screens every evening. The “flower children” that grabbed the headlines advocating almost everything anti-establishment may have been my generation, but we were eons apart in worldviews. I am just surmising that prior to the Internet, social media, and 24/7 breaking news, there were more defined differences between those who grew up in the Bible Belt and those who grew up on, say, the West Coast. Remember those “surfer movies?” LOL. The phenomenon of the youth culture was in its infancy.
Fast-forward fifty years. The Millennial Generation is now the buzz everywhere. As children of Baby Boomers, most of whom eventually DID settle down and discard some of their more radical ideas, the common trait between these two groups, is their passionate determination to shape their universe. As they move into the corner offices, the executive boardrooms, and the halls of government, what worldview will inform their decisions? What kind of society will they strive to create? What role will they assign Christian truth, or will they assign it at all?
Most everyone who has spent even a brief time in church is familiar with the Great Commission, that admonition in the closing verses of Matthew’s gospel to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Decades ago that command conjured up visions of living in a grass hut in a third world country, dodging cannibals, and learning a foreign language. No more. The new mission field is all around us, and one of the most challenging ones is in the heart of the largest cities in our own country.
Ole Miss alumni David and Meg Robbins, who grace our cover this month, share their heart for the 20-somethings, fresh from college, who move to New York City eager to chase their dreams, and who find the transition more difficult than they ever imagined. It can be more than a little intimidating and often quite lonely. The missionary journey of the Robbins is really very reminiscent of a few others you may remember—like Abraham or Paul! They’ve been called to blaze a very new trail.
Nancy Pearcey, in her book Total Truth, sums it up perfectly. “As Christians we are called to be missionaries to our world, and that means learning the language and thought-forms of the people we want to reach. In America we don’t have to master a new language, but we do have to learn the thought-forms of our culture. We need to speak to philosophers in the language of philosophy, to politicians in the language of public policy, and to scientists in the language of science.” And I would add, to Millennials in the language of Millennials.
June is the month for celebrating our fathers. What a daunting task is theirs today. Can this culture ratchet up the pace, the noise, the negative messages, and the distractions even one more notch? It takes a wise and intentional parenting style to capture the hearts and attention of today’s children, but it is heartening to read about fathers who are doing just that. Don’t miss Peggy Wall and Barbara Hamilton’s article on Coach Tony Dungy’s thoughts about being a dad. By all means, check out Martin Willoughby’s “Purposeful Parenting,” and find a concise and persuasive case for being a great dad and why it does indeed matter.
How we live and what we believe matters. It matters because our words, our thoughts, and our heartfelt beliefs shape our lives AND the lives of those we care about most.