I'm starting to dislike the term "renewal" in the church. It seems like we've been renewing every single generation since time began. I was reading some of our church history info from the early 1900s, and they were looking to have a renewal of Spirit like they had before in the 1860s. It always implies that it was better before than it is now.
I just don't buy that. It was DIFFERENT before. But even then, the good old days were often times of "revival," meaning they were dead and needed brought back to life.
No matter what we do, we'll never make people who remember the good ol' days think we've "made it." It will never feel as perfect now as we think it felt then. The term "renewal" is becoming one that to me precedes feelings of inadequacy. No matter the new successes and new followers of Christ. In the church world, hindsight isn't 20/20. Instead, it wears rose-colored glasses.
Every generation believes theirs is the one going down the tubes and the previous ones were the last to really "get it."
What if we stopped "renewing," and started believing that we have the devil on the run? What if we went on the offensive instead of believing we have to find a way to hold together the tattered strips of our denomination? What if the previous generation of believers wasn't seen as an unattainable goal but instead as a mountain to build upon?