Fidel Nyongesa is passionate about sharing the gospel, seeing people’s lives transformed by the gospel; loves chillies and football; reads widely, thinks deeply and writes for Conversation…
Over the last few weeks, I have been drawn to read a column in the Saturday Nation called ‘City Girl’ for two reasons. First, it’s because the writer is a young person like me and I can really ‘feel’ her as I read through the pages. She really is the voice of the current generation and I’m sure so many young people will identify with her. We are big dreamers, young; we love to have fun and don’t like the old way of doing things; we are adventurous and want to explore things. We are go-getters at the least and if something doesn’t work, we just leave it and try something else. If you read her articles, you will start to understand why the young people at church behave the way they do – you are from a different generation from theirs and perhaps this is not just your world anymore!
The second reason I read her articles is what she says and the kind of attitude she displays is exactly what I (and other Christians) should not be like. With the dynamism and restlessness and that comes with youth, it’s so easy to think that the world revolves around us and we are the most important people in the world. Therefore we end up forgetting what the most important things in life are and that, though change is good, there are some things that are to be constant even as we seek to embrace change.
The one thing that is clear is that we live in changing times and we try every time to adapt to the changes that take place. It’s become easier for one to get university education than it was 15 years ago. Infrastructure has improved and technology is more advanced now to the extent that my colleagues wonder why I am not yet on Whatsapp – I am that behind – but at least am on Twitter!! Other aspects in society also seem to be changing too: the social fabric of society seems to be disintegrating every minute with increasing family break-ups. The sense of community that we used to have seems to be slowly fading away.
This is no surprise at all, because that is exactly what Paul envisioned when writing to Timothy in the 1st Century.
“people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness but denying its power.’ (2 Tim. 3:2-5)
It’s here with us. Like the ‘City Girl’ we love money so much that we won’t date men who don’t have it – the riff-raffs who drive Mark X and Mark II. We go for the rich ones! Our egos are too big, we love pleasure more that God and we’d rather spend the weekend in Machakos for Masaku7s engaging ourselves in all manner of obscenities than go to church on Sunday. That is what everyone is doing, so we don’t want to be left behind. When we happen to go to church then, it has to be tailored to suit what we want, so the leadership changes the preaching series, the ambience, and the tone of preaching etc. to cater for our ‘needs’. There seems to be an appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
How are we to live then?
[Fidel Nyongesa facilitates ministry training at iServe Africa. Read the rest of his ‘(Not) The Last Word’ article in Issue 2 of Conversation Magazine.]