Saturday, August 15, 2009
Revivals, Awakenings and Ministry
This post is about the way so many people are volunteering to take part in social, spiritual and political movements. I am not commenting on the CONTENT of the movements, but the wide spread, mass interest of ordinary people in trying to make a difference.
People who are living longer, healthier lives. These Seasoned Citizens and Seasoned Believers are well educated, highly motivated, well read, energetic, mobile, well heeled and have lots of time on their hands. They have been unleashed and the genie cannot be put back into the bottle. They will not be controlled by leaders but are challenging traditional leaders in every realm of life.
Martin Luther is remembered as a key person in the Reformation Protesting the impurity of the Roman Catholic Church. However, there had been many reformers in the Roman Catholic Church before Luther but he was much more successful than the others. Why? The printing press that led to fast mass communication for the very first time. Today we have fast mass communication in blogs, cable news, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Churches, political parties, local governments will all have to change. They can no longer stand off in the distance and direct people with their version of the truth. We are no longer in an era of truth from an expert. In the Modern Era we looked up "TRUTH" in a book. World Book Encyclopedia was sold to millions of families for example. It might have ten lines on Luther.
Now we go to Wikipedia, an online enclopedia that has multitudes of entries by hundreds of people whose names appear on the page. They add thousands of blue Internet links about Luther. Truth is a dialogue that arrives from dialogue among many named experts rather than from one anonymous person.
Just look at the "Town Meetings". I have not seen such wide spread involvement of ordinary people, especially Seasoned Citizens, in politics in my life time. Despite the cries of opponents and media elites that these folks are all shills for a political party, by watching them it is obvious that they are driven by a deep emotional connection to the issues of the day and want to make a difference.
I have read of similar movements during the days leading up to the Civil War. Thousands of citizens marched, sang, preached and wrote about the evils of slavery. Much of the movement was centered around Cincinnati.
One more thought. Leaders better learn to listen, discuss, enter into dialogues with unruly citizens and be transparent with what is happening. Most of the politicians, pastors and managers are not skilled in facilitating these emotional groups. The pols are actually attacking and cursing thir voters! That is stupid and deadly. They had better learn how interact with overly emotional groups and do it quickly.
I am available to consult with these leaders before they kill the goose that lays their golden retirement plans.