The Stage Is Set

A small group of twentysomethings can change the world. A generation of them can reclaim the cities of America for the kingdom of God. This is our calling.

By popular perception then and now, Jesus’ band of soon-to-be leaders was anything but full of potential. A few rural fishermen, a cast-out tax collector, an alternative anarchist, all 12 of them twentysomethings. This was the community that would found the most significant movement the world has ever seen. Looking at these young people, Jesus didn’t see problems. He saw promise. The rest is history.

So-called Generation X, the group of people in America born after the early ’60s, has been much maligned and deemed a generation of little promise. Undoubtedly this first post-Christian generation has grown up in unprecedented family breakdown, technological advance, rapidity of change, moral decay, geographic transience, and global urbanization. But if we look with the eyes of Christ, we should see incredible potential for the kingdom and gain a great sense of hope for America’s inner cities. It is my conviction that God will use the challenging and changing environment of this generation for the redemption of North America’s cities and their people.

When one thinks of the problems of the city, what come to mind? They are myriad. The stories are different in each city, but the problems and the overwhelming need are the same. Our cities need the body of Christ to live out the values of the kingdom in their midst, for the values of the kingdom match perfectly the needs of the city.

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 1998
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