For years, I’ve been banging a drum that the majority of 20-something Christians aren’t ready to hear (many are, however). That drum contains three beats:
- Most young people who set out to serve the Lord are running on the fumes of youthful enthusiasm. And when those fumes evaporate, they either experiences burn out or bail out. That is, they burn out, not realizing that they had been serving “the god of serving God” instead of Jesus Christ. Or they turn their backs on the Lord altogether. This usually happens when they hit or get a little past 30.
- Most young people can’t distinguish between a “cause” to “change the world” and Jesus Christ Himself. The two are distinct.
- Most young people do not know the difference between serving God in their own strength, power, and resources and living by the indwelling life of Jesus Christ.
Leonard Sweet and I banged the three beats of this drum in Jesus Manifesto, but it didn’t become a bestseller. And countless 20-something Christians never read it, let alone heard about it.
But there is renewed hope.
Tyler Wigg-Stevenson – a long time advocate, cause-champion, and world-changing seeker, has just released a new book entitled The World is Not Ours to Save.
While this book doesn’t drum all three beats I’ve listed above, it does a great job at pounding on one of them. Here are some crisp endorsements that say it better than I can . . .
“The book of Galatians exhorts the church to ‘not become weary in doing good.’ But how does the modern-day Christian activist react when confronted by the myriad of social issues needing attention? With uncommon skill, Tyler Wigg-Stevenson provides answers. This is an essential book for any Christian activist.” (Richard Stearns, president, World Vision US, and author of The Hole in Our Gospel )
“There is a generation arising committed to reconciling Billy Graham’s message of salvation with Dr. Martin Luther King’s march for justice. Tyler Wigg-Stevenson embodies that mission and presents a practical framework for building a firewall against activism fatigue and cause-related myopia. In The World Is Not Ours to Save, Tyler submits the proposition that unbridled activism and advocacy results in a spiritual disbalance that merits a corrective prescription–one that emerges out of a kingdom lens and vocational discipline.” (Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Hispanic Evangelical Association )
“Tyler Wigg-Stevenson offers in these pages some wise remedies for the signs of ’cause fatigue’ that he sees as beginning to afflict a younger generation of bright and committed young Christians. This is a book I wish that I had read during my own early activist days!” (Richard J. Mouw, Ph.D., president and professor of Christian philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary )
“I love Tyler. He has style, and wit, and innovation, and sass. I didn’t like the title of the book. But then I read it. Tyler corrects some of the errors of activism and challenges the assumptions of belief-only Christianity. He reminds us here that works don’t earn our salvation, but they do demonstrate it. And Tyler insists that we pray as if we depend on God, because we do . . . but that we also live as if God depends on us, because God does. May Tyler’s words inspire us all to become the change we pray for.” (Shane Claiborne, author, activist and lover of Jesus, www.thesimpleway.org )
“Brilliant, biblical and immensely important. This wise, Christ-centered book by an extremely gifted emerging evangelical leader and scholar/activist strengthens my hope that the next generation of Christian leaders will embrace biblical balance in every area of their thought and life.” (Ronald J. Sider, professor of theology, Palmer Seminary at Eastern University, and president, Evangelicals for Social Action )
I recommend this work . . . especially and specifically for “cause-oriented” young Christians who want to change the world. Have the humility to learn from someone who has been there . . . Tyler is one of them.
This post is part of the sponsored Patheos Book Club.