For anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14
Recently, one of the literature releases that my denomination produces put forth some very concerning facts. The large majority of those currently serving as pastors are 50 years old or more. The average age of pastors was not the central point of the article, but it was what struck my heart. Last week, a good pastor friend and I were talking about that article, and most especially about how few young pastors there were, and the number only looked to be decreasing in the future. We both wondered as to where the younger voices of the church will be coming from. More, why were so few of them being raised up? Who is it that will speak for Him to a church and culture that is in desperate need of Him? Who will be His prophetic voice? Has He stopped seeking such, or, is it really a matter that too few are any longer listening? My friend said that we desperately need revival, and we do. Yet the word I think that speaks even more clearly to the need is "awakening." We need an awakening. We need to awaken from our sleep. We need a new generation of prophetic voices to arise from the dead that they might then speak to those still dead....with the message of His resurrection life.
Maybe a great part of our problem stems from our starting to see pastors and preachers more as leaders, builders, managers, and marketers. As CEO's rather than prophetic voices of and for His Kingdom. We started to become more about meetings, strategy sessions, buildings and attendance growing than about being Kingdom voices. We gathered more for "brainstorming" than we did for prayers that stormed heaven. We know well each other hearts, what we think and want to say. We're missing His heart and what He's saying. So what's being heard are our voices, and what's being missed is His. If I'm even partly right about this, is it any wonder that a generation sits in our sanctuaries each week and then leaves, not really hearing His voice, and certainly missing His call. They can hear what we're saying. They can't hear Him. They know the sound of our voice. They've never learned the sound of His.
We are past time for an awakening in the heart of His Church, for a mighty move of God upon His people. Some say it is too late. I disagree. Michael Brown spoke to this recently via a You Tube video. He portrayed the spiritual condition of England prior to the great Wesleyan revival of the 18th century. Drunkenness and debauchery were openly practiced throughout the nation. Hundreds upon hundreds of newborn babies were abandoned in the streets of London. Parents, addicted to drink, sold their children to public workhouses, where the majority were worked to death and never reached adolescence. Into this darkness, God sent men, voices, like George Whitfield, John Wesley and his brother Charles. They spoke into the deep darkness with His voice, and into that darkness came His Light, and out of it, His Life. England was transformed. It was said that in the coal mines of Wales, donkey's used to carry coal out of the mines had to be retrained, for they had only ever heard the curses of the men who handled them. Such men's hearts, minds and tongues had been transformed. And it started with three men, and hundreds more unnamed just like them.
Those voices of His Kingdom are as needed now as they were then. Young, middle-aged or older, will you be among them? And you don't have to fill a pulpit to be one. Are you weary enough of hearing what men have to say? Do you hunger for the voice of God? More than 2500 hundred years ago, God spoke the words "Who will go for us?" The prophet Isaiah heard that voice, and then became His voice to a lost generation. And he wasn't alone. God calls today in that same voice and with the same words. Do you hear? Will you come, and then, will you go? Or, do you have another meeting to attend?