In a contemplative and reflective frame of mind, I was trying to discern what God is doing across this land. For example, a decade ago, during the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession, I happened upon a series of sermons on holiness by David Platt. I knew God was working with a new generation.
Now, in the midst of a very noisy culture, I asked God the same question again: What are you doing across this land? Delightfully, I am discovering that God is already doing new things from the arts, to calling, to declarations. He is doing something new!
When we participate in worship, we are greeted with lyrics with different depth. Consider the following smattering of samples from a group of 30 years olds…
Lord you search me, how you know me You perceive my every thought from afar In all my wandering, still you love meKing of glory you pursue my anxious heartEven when I’m not, you’re faithfulEven when I doubt your truth holdsEven when I’m lost you won’t let me goWhen my heart is dry your grace flowsNo matter where I run, I’m not far from homeYea, I may be weak but you’re ableEven when I’m not, you’re faithfulEven when I’m not, you’re faithful (Eric Neider—Faithful)
In the morning when I rise to meet YouIn the morning when I lift my eyesYou’re the only One I wanna cling toYou’re the first thought on my mindLet our voices riseAll creation criesSinging out an endless alleluia from this moment onJoin with Heaven’s song Singing out an endless alleluia!In the moments where You go unnoticed in the ordinary day to dayCountless miracles of life around us Point like arrows to Your name (Cory Asbury—Endless Alleluia)
And every knee will bow in a great surrenderAnd all the nations come, crying out togetherThat Jesus is the Lord, and He reigns foreverSalvation to our God, to our God foreverAnd every knee will bow in a great surrenderAnd all the nations come, crying out togetherThat Jesus is the Lord, and He reigns foreverSalvation to our God, to our God foreverForever and everOh we pour out our praise to You, JesusWho reigns forever and everThe Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice, Jesus, hey! (Lindy and the Digital Circuit Riders—Stand In Awe)
The lyrics in the worship songs have experienced God, speaking about his enduring faithfulness, unmatched, and one can only stand in awe. The personal revival of individuals are breathlessly captured in words and songs. The society categorized them as the millennials.
But they are the new generation of witnesses for God across this land.
His new witnesses have also created new categories; David Bowden and his poetry helps all of us to engage with the living God of the Scriptures in a totally new way. Bowden’s ‘I Believe In Jesus’ among his repertoire of deep theological poetry strikes a chord with the listener not only because it is sound, but also because the beauty of theology can be so simply expressed. Here is a unique category from a new generation providing witness of the gospel in this land.
Or consider this: there is a call for one million African-American men to serve in missions across the Middle East. In a recent February stadium rally of ‘The Send’, which gathered 58,000 people, David Bryant testified how God called him out of Detroit to join this movement to reach the unengaged unreached people groups in the world.
God has his new witnesses.
Gender ‘reveal’ is becoming a cultural phenomenon. From live streaming, to parties with friends, the 30 and under generation are using various venues to reveal the gender of their babies. This is not only among Christians; this is widespread across this land. At a time where society is purportedly confused about gender and fluidity, there are new witnesses declaring the gender of the baby who is still in the womb.
For every example cited herewith, there are hundreds of thousands that God is breathing through as witnesses. Our politically correct silences, eyeballing space occupying vitriol digital memes, in a culture of outrage have shielded us from what God is doing.
God is doing a new thing in the millennial generation through his witnesses.
Have you spotted his handiwork, listened and watched his artists, identified and prayed for his witnesses?
Samuel E. Chiang is a husband, father, ordained minister, and President and CEO of Seed Company in Arlington, TX, a nonprofit committed to Scripture translation for people without God’s Word through Great Commission Partnerships.