Recently I was in my motherland, South Korea.
(see recap post here)
We had the opportunity to address the congregation of a beautiful church called, Young Nak. We were invited to speak to their International Worship community. What was surprising was that both services were filled with folks who were very "ripe" in age. I remember leaning over to the pastor and asking if I was expected to speak in Korean. He eased my anxiety by stating the fact that even the "older" attendees were fluent in English and I need not worry about their ability to understand and receive all that God had for them that day. I was elated by the news because I felt that their ability to understand was confirmation of what I felt I was to do that day.
"He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents;
or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction." - Malachi 4:6
I spoke on hearing and obeying God.
I addressed the need to listen.
But towards the end, I invited the folks there to consider how one is to listen...
"What will prayer look like for our generation?"
We all know that he speaks (sometimes) directly to us,
he speaks through his Living Word,
but I wanted to highlight that day that
he also speaks through the stories of our fathers and mothers.
God calls himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
perhaps to make sure that we remember that this story is an on-going story
and not a new one that started with our arrival"
The moment came when I felt the need to highlight the fact that this church is full of Abraham and Isaacs, Sarahs and Deborahs. That perhaps revival and restoration will begin not just when hipsters pray but when hipsters listen to the stories of those who have hip-problems.
So, at the end of the sermon, I stepped down from the stage, walked over to the church elder who was assigned over this particular department (international congregation) and handed him a journal. I asked him to write to us, to Ekko, to young pastors like myself.
I asked, "would you be willing to share the story of Young Nak with us, would you also be willing to share what you think a young pastor to know and embrace based on all the years of experience you've accumulated as an elder of this historic church?" He replied, "I will, I will write!"
You see, my prayer is that this generation's revival will be marked by... listening. This is the art form we need to revive and restore in our generation. We can petition and pray all we want but God may have already spoken to us through the lives of our fathers and mothers. Perhaps revival will look more like reconciliation than a resuscitation.
Join me in a movement to listen,
in the campaign for quietness,
in the cause for reconciliation.
Together, we can hear and obey and follow in the footsteps of our forefathers.