Posted by Matt Lane on March 7th, 2009 filed in Blurbs, Christian Living

I was listening to a guy speak recently and he stated that in a very short period of time knowledge known to one generation is lost and can quickly turn into denial in the next generations.

You see, in the business world, employees are trained and then expected to follow the training. As time passes, it is easy to assume that everyone knows what you are talking about and business goes about as normal. Very quickly though, people forget and new people come aboard who do not know. Pretty soon there are whole groups of people who have no idea what the definition of anything is and some will completely deny that certain truths do in fact exist.

The same holds true in churches. In as little as 2-3 generations, whole lines of families can deny foundational truths to faith. In just a few short years, large pockets of people attending churches can forget and deny doctrinal truths and then the work is hampered and hindered.

So how do you prevent this pattern from happening? To some degree, I think it is human nature and inevitable. But honestly, that is just a cop-out for doing nothing. Instead, have a laser like focus and keep pounding things into people. If you are a business, keep the vision in the forefront of people at all times. Have consistent training and always link it to the vision. Make sure that the employees always know how what they do impacts the business. Never assume people are on board, make sure they are.

For churches, it’s much the same way. At some point most people knew many, many things. If certain biblical terms were used, most people knew exactly what was being said. Doctrine could be articulated and defended. But time never stand stills and over time the tendency to assume that people know things creates complacency. If the leaders assume that everyone knows doctrine, there is a real danger of de-emphasizing doctrine. Once it is assumed that people know many things, those things may no longer be taught.Assume NOTHING!

The fact is that many people may not know the definition of anything any more and are possibly very ignorant. The decline starts when people forget foundational truths and consequently they begin to deny those truths because they never owned them in the first place. And just so we are clear, just because people don’t know the truth doesn’t mean there is a void. Voids don’t exist.

The take home here is to NEVER assume that people know what you want them to know. About anything. In fact, churches need to teach and preach knowing that most people DON’T know and that some DO deny. Teach people knowing that there are large groups of people that cannot articulate the Gospel clearly. Know that there are many people that do not serve Jesus but rather serve themselves.

I know I have been guilty of assuming way too much.  How much do you assume?


2 Responses to “Know->Assume->Forget->Deny”

  1. Jeff Selph Says:

    Wow. That’s really something to think about, more so with having a kid coming. Thanks.

  2. Matt Lane Says:

    Yes sir, it haunts me all the time with my own kids. I am always thinking about how I can push my kids to have greater faith than mine and to be purposeful about that.

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