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I have had some eye opening conversations with young people. We tend to think they are not interested in Theology, but could it be they are not interested in the way they are being taught theology. The youth of today want to make a difference in their world. If you show them how theology will help them do that and teach them in an interactive manner they get excited about theology. If you are going to sit them down and lecture them they will shut down. The young people I have talked with want to hear how their elders have lived out faith in good times and difficult times. They have a respect for the wisdom and experience of their elders that I sadly lacked at their age.

I Know I am late to this discussion but when I read Bev's comment 

" when i share on something that is in the orthopathy realm ie the emotions, spiritual gifts of prophecy, visions, dreams, praying in tongues, high praise, in the conservative tradtion, I get slammed, the responses often astound me (just letting you know, it doesn't go over very well) .   It is resisted, it is viewed as pagan, from the enemy, it is viewed with disdain, scoffed at, terms such as "scary" "dangerous" "weird" are used, and it's almost considered heresy.  I wish I could say I was joking, but I'm not." 

I thought how true. we have cut ourselves off from so much of the work of the Spirit. 

Several years ago I met a young man who told me he was a prophet. At the time my silent response was "no you are not, God does not do that anymore" Now there was true arrogance on my part, as though I could tell God what he does and does not do. The young man told me he does not tell very many people that he is a prophet because of the response he gets. He also said it is a gift that must be handled carefully because the Devil will try to emulate the Spirit and give false messages.

In the next few months I felt God calling me to write a sermon on Jonah. I looked at my calendar and saw no need to write that message. I did not need it. I planned to write it sometime I just pushed it off. Later I had what could best be called an interesting week where a number of very strange things had happened in my life. That Sunday I met that young man again. He looked at me and smiled, then asked "is God doing anything in your life lately?" OK he had my attention I had just come through one of the strangest weeks in my life. Being the sceptic my answer was "define lately."

He said, " In the last few days." I answered "maybe."

"I have a message from God for you" he said, "You need to be a minister"

At this point I need to explain that I have a liscense to exhort, but am a far cry from a pastor. I said to him "No, God does not want me to be a minister every time I have moved in that direction the door has been firmly slammed shut."

He tilted his head to one side and I could see he was upset that I did not think he had a message for me from God. Then he said "It has something to do with Jonah."

Ah, Jonah, the unwritten sermon. That was an eye opening experience. I had not listened to God telling me he wanted a message written and God actually sent a prophet to tell me you have your priorities wrong here and when I want a message written, write it.

The young man made one more statement that puzzled me for the next five years. I will not quote it in an open forum, but just the other day it came to me in a flash. He told me the congregation the message on Jonah was for but I never was called to preach there. God found someone else to do what I did not do.

This forum is on preaching and I tell this story because true preaching is bringing the message that God gives in the place where God calls it to be given. As a denomination we have become too cerebral and are missing the empowering work of the Spirit.

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