Do Something Hard; Learn From Someone Old
I guess not much has changed.
Alex and Brett Harris open up their bestselling book, Do Hard Things, with these words:
Check online or walk through your local bookstore. You'll find plenty of books written by fortysomethings who, like totally understand what it's like being a teenager. You'll find a lot of cheap throwaway books for teens because young people today aren't supposed to care about books or see any reason to keep them around. And you'll find a wide selection of books where you never have to read anything twice—because the message is dumbed-down. Like, just for you.
One of the low expectations today's mature Christian teen is ready to rebel against is shallow, immature, teachings directed at them. Sadly, we live in a culture where youth ministry is often dumbed-down. Teachers and authors either speak down to you or try too hard to be cool. Makes me kinda sick.
Recently I had the privilege of sitting under the rich teaching of Pastor Johnny Hunt who, among other honors, is the former head of one of the largest Protestant denominations in the world. His teaching was on overcoming strongholds. He delivered it with a hearty dose of deep theology that whetted the appetites of those of us in the audience to learn more by digging into the Word ourselves.
This year Pastor Hunt will be sixty. The average age of each person in the audience was probably fifteen. Pastor Hunt was speaking to 6,500 people. His graying hair, lack of vocabulary from urbandictionary.com, and well-pressed shirt were no barrier to the students who feasted on the Word of God that day. His power was not in relating to them, but it was wholly in the Word.
My husband, Bob, and I were both amazed at the spiritual weight of his teaching on all of us. There was an authority in what he spoke as compared to the other teachers, even though he delivered his teaching with simplicity and humility. And ... ahem ... I myself had a few moments on that stage. I'm not disparaging any of the other great speakers at that particular event. However, in terms of both years and wisdom, Pastor Hunt passed us all up.
Titus 2:3–5 encourages both you and I to be taught by older women:
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
We're not called to be taught by our peers or those just a tad ahead of us so that we can relate to each other. But we're called to embrace the heavy weight of someone who's walked with the Lord for years.
The great young teachers and authors have a place in the Body of Christ. They push you to devour meaty teaching. But they cannot replace the weight of an older teacher like Johnny Hunt. (And the Harris brothers don't want them to. They just don't want you to settle for shallow teaching.)
I suspect two solid teachers like the Harris brothers will still be around when they're over the age of ... gasp ... thirty! I think they have the maturity to give them staying power to age wisely into "older" teachers. Imagine what weight they will have for us to sit under when they are almost sixty!
Speaking of older teachers, Erin and I are excited to teach brand-new, deep material at True Woman ‘12's Lies Young Women Believe LIVE! It's a full day of Bible truth just for you, but don't expect us to dumb anything down. We're going to dig deeply into God's Word gleaning for ourselves as we present solid, meaty truth for you in September. Would you mind covering us in prayer that we'd dig deep and present in mature humility?