The quote is attributed to the third president of the United States.  Interesting.  I think he may be right.  Every generation has an obligation to renew, reinvent, re-establish, re-create structures and redefine its realities for itself.

A few years ago the Ford Motor Company found itself floundering.  Consumer interest had long passed over its products in favour of the inventions and creativities of the Japanese products.  The Ford people developed a new creative communications piece–“Not Your Father’s Car”.   We aren’t just repeating the past, we are creating a new today.

In the early 70’s I began my faith journey.  At the time it was a season of unrest amongst the younger people of the day.  Sit ins, love ins, societal unrest, generational mistrust, protest marches, anti government crusades…it was a time of deconstructions and anti institutionalism.  My friends at that time were pretty disappointed by the state of the institutional church.  I remember a lot of us “dropping out”.  We couldn’t get our heads around the present reality and certainly had no hope in the future reality.

But then I began to hear the challenge that “if you don’t like it, do something better” and we rose to the challenge.  We CAN do something better.  We CAN create forms that are more functional, more operational, more meaningful, more true the New Testament expression of faith and congregating.   And for the next 30 years it was my huge intentionality to work at being the people of God, congregating, community making, life forming.

Were we “successful”?  Maybe.  We had some good moments.  We also had some abysmal moments.  But we were compelled that community making (congregating?) was  worthy pursuit.

Here is my point— it’s time for the next generation to forge a new revolution.  The time is ripe.  Old patterns are worn.  A previous generation’s “best shot” is still a previous generation’s effort.  It’s time for the next generation to not simply analyze and criticize, it’s time for the next generation to create new forms for being the people of God.

Step up.  And if it looks like I, or my generation is standing in your way, step around us and step on.