“Breaking The Mold”
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
Prov 23:7 (KJV)
19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
Prov 23:19 (KJV)
Whatever you pour into the mold produces the finished product.
I remember growing up my mom and dad had a ceramic shop. They poured their own pieces in the basement of our home. Dad was always very particular about what he poured into the molds. He used what they called slip which to me looked like watery mud. The slip had to be mixed just right or the pieces would come out to dry and fall apart or to wet and would sag. After he filled the molds with the slip he would wait for 2 days before he opened the mold. The piece at that time was still very delicate and so they were put on a shelf to dry for a week or so. Then they would take small knives and cut off all the rough edges and smooth the piece so that is was ready for the kiln. This was the real test of whether the mold was poured right or not. See if the piece had any air bubbles or cracks in it when it went into the kiln it would burst and fall apart from the heat generated in the kiln.
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1 Peter 4:12 (KJV)
Recent surveys by the Barna Group have shown some very startling and upsetting results. By their estimate 3 out of 4 people between the ages of 19 to 28 are leaving the church. Of this group it is estimated that at least 80% of these do not believe in the relevancy or authority of The Word of God.
Think about it this way this will be the generation who in 15 to 20 years from now will be sitting where we are today. They will be parents and grandparents, teachers and lawyers, Doctors and nurses, and yes one of them could be president of the United States.
If these estimates hold true that could very well be the generation that closes the majority of the church doors in America.
So what went wrong? Well the slip that was poured into the mold, not when they were 18 or 19 but when they were born was not mixed right. See the young people who are 19 to 28 today have already been molded. Most of them already know where they are headed in life. They for the most part are already on a path that they will continue to travel on throughout their adult life.
Sadly for many of them the choice was easy because they did not have an alternative. Dads slip was more than just water and dirt; other things were added to make things come out right.
Young people today have not been challenged with a choice. Because most of them have never been offered a choice. At the time when they were growing and learning parents were busy building careers and they let the public schools and the world system and the entertainment industry raise their children. The end result, 3 out of 4 young people are leaving the church. The majority of those do not believe in the relevancy or authority of The Word of God.
What other result could we possibly have expected? When the most important ingredient of life, the creator of life is omitted from the mix the finished product will be incomplete. The finished product will never add up to what it was intended to be. There will always be a part of it that is missing something.
In my dad’s ceramic shop he never threw away a defective piece. He always said every piece had its place somewhere. He would say someone with the right stroke of the brush and the right colors could cover up the mistakes and turn any piece into a beautiful piece.
Yes something has happened and we are on the verge of losing an entire generation of young people. But every one of them has a place somewhere. With the right stroke of the brush and the right color many of them can be turned into a masterpiece in the eyes of God.
We may never reclaim them all but we can certainly claim many of them. Many of these young people were raised in church by loving Christian parents, and some were not.
The reality of it is that those who have never been influenced by The Word of God will be the easiest to reach. Because they have never really had a choice and given the choice they could very well make some different choices.
The hardest to reach will be those who were raised in church. See they had a choice, they knew the difference and they have made the choice to walk away.
Who knows what could have happened. Maybe a disgruntled member caused some harm to their family, maybe they were under the teaching of a false teacher. Jesus said there would be plenty of those around. Maybe something happened to them physically that turned them away from the church.
Whatever the reason they have made a decision to leave the church. And until those hurts and disappointments are mended they may never come back.
Parents today need to be very aware of what their children are watching and listening to. They need to be aware of the friends they hang out with. They need to take the time to take their children to church. Because the devil is working overtime to destroy an entire generation of people and unless moms and dads work harder than he does he will win.
For those of us who have young children and grandchildren, the mold is being poured right now while they are young. What they are learning now will shape their lives into who they will be as an adult.
Dad that little boy wants to grow up and be just like you, mom that little girl wants to grow up and be just like you.
The question is are you OK with that?