The Lord Jesus Christ, said: "You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." In other words, just being salt is not enough. In fact, if we are salt and are not being salty, we are in big trouble.
More than twenty years ago E. Stanley Jones, the great Methodist writer and missionary, was asked to name the number-one problem in the church. His quick reply was "Irrelevance." Not that the church was inherently irrelevant, but that Christians were failing to show in concrete ways and to tell in understandable terms how the person of Christ is relevant to all of life in the 20th Century.
The number one way, then, for Christians to be the salt Christ calls them to be is to teach His relevance, to demonstrate His relevance, to live His relevance in every area of life. We cannot accomplish this by talking only to ourselves and working only in the "safe" careers and professions. Being salt is not nearly so much about having more pastors and missionaries as it is about having many more committed Christian people thinking strategically about and acting on ways to build the kingdom in such areas as public policy, advertising, media, higher education, information technology, entertainment, the arts, and sports.
Keeping Christ bottled up in the churches is keeping salt in the shakers, and He does not go where we do not take Him. We need to take Him everywhere and show His relevance and the relevance of His Word to every aspect of modern life. The process of obeying Christ's command to be salt is about penetration. Salt must penetrate the meat to preserve it. Christians must penetrate key areas of culture to have a preserving effect. It is about being inside through competence and talent and, with God's help and the Holy Spirit's leading, offering scripturally based alternatives to those things that are corrupting and evil.
New generation youth in India is that kind of challenge. In J. N. Manokaran's book: Christ and New Generation Youth, you will find plenty of information gleaned from news articles and recent publications which document the size, worldview and dreams of this segment of the Indian population. The point however, is to move beyond an understanding of the new generation, to a grasp of what can and should be done as we endeavor to make Christ known to these younger women and men.
Spiritual need touches every class in India, whether traditional village farmers who have practiced the ways of their fathers for hundreds of years, or workers in its new and fast-growing hi-tech industries. In cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad/Secunderabad and Delhi, a new and upwardly mobile class represents unique challenges. "The rapid growth of the high-tech industry in India, provides one of the newest, largest, and most influencial unreached people groups in the country," according to Dr. T. Valson Abraham (President of India Gospel Outreach).
People in this group come from a variety of religious, social and economic backgrounds. Primarily, they are younger men (and women) who have engineering and computer backgrounds. They have become the 'new rich' in Indian society. This is just one of the groups highlighted in Christ and New Generation Youth, by J. N. Manokaran. There is more here than just an overview of the new generation. You will find hope and love and faith. Praise God for those valiant pioneers who are being used of God to live the life of Christ with the youth of this generation and do it such a manner that they are being drawn to Him, whom to know is life eternal.
International Director Trainers of Pastors International Coalition (TOPIC)
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