The simple, yet powerful, ideas of the Restoration Movement have been a guiding force for generations of preachers. Today, they provide the perfect framework for the current generation of preachers leading churches in post-denominational America.
A focus on Christ. Church autonomy. A high view of scripture. Unity.
Seekers and believers alike seem to be drawn to these priorities as they abandon denominational loyalties.
It is exciting to see that these historic Restoration themes are animating a new generation of young preachers who are pleading with their churches to embrace the ideas that have historically shaped the churches of Christ. Preachers like Collin Packer from the Littleton Church of Christ in Colorado are encouraging their congregations to replace the sectarian, divisive, politically motivated agendas that have plagued our churches for decades with the powerful ideas of our Restoration Movement instead. (I commend his blog entry “What I Like About Churches of Christ.”)
As we prepare the future of Bible Lectures and Church Relations at Pepperdine, Mike Cope and I are committed to doing all we can to build a network around and supportive programs for these young preachers. Though they have freed themselves from sectarian constrains, many have chosen to stay with their churches. At least for now. In the coming years, churches of Christ will need to respond, demonstrably, to the Restoration cry coming from this young generation and in so doing may restore their full role of influence in the unfolding Christian story.