At EvanTell’s 45th anniversary dinner, Dr. James Emery White (pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina) talked about 200 leaders from the Old Testament tribe of Issachar who understood the signs of the time and knew the course that Israel should take.
Comparing it to today, White said: “Knowing the signs of the times and from that how to then live has to be the most pressing challenge facing any life and certainly any ministry and particularly now.”
White believes the church today is living in a pivotal moment, possibly even the beginning of a new era (cf. Christopher Dawson’s treatise on identifiable ages in the Christian faith), with the doctrine of humanity being one of the most pressing issues of today.
In America, one out of every four adults identify with the label “none.” In other words, they have no religious affiliation. Among young adults the percentages are even higher.
White said, “The heart of this is a functional atheism. Rather than rejecting the idea of God, our culture simply ignores him. People are not rejecting religion, they are not thinking about it.”
This is particularly true with Generation Z, which encompasses those age 25 and under. It is numerically the largest generation in modern history and by 2020 will constitute 40% of all consumers.
“Generation Z will not simply influence western culture; they will be western culture,” said White.
But perhaps more importantly, White argues that Generation Z is the first generation in the United States to have been raised in a post-Christian context. Many of them still believe in the existence of God, but “barely.” Most don’t go to church and by in large are biblically illiterate.
White describes them as a “lost generation—without even the memory of the gospel” leaving a spiritual vacuum in their lives.
White urged attendees to think about how to make a difference in the lives of people all around us, saying:
“What makes the maximum impact on another human’s life is when you are involved with bringing about the intersection of their life with the living God through Christ in such a way that the entire trajectory of their eternity is altered.”
White shared that 90% of believers in America will never share their faith with anyone in their life time, making the support of EvanTell even more crucial.
In his concluding words, White asked: “How do you change the world? Win it.”
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