The world has changed greatly in recent years. Technology and society have evolved, and the youth these days face a whole slew of unique problems and challenges in the modern world. Identity, individuality, connection, and communication are only a few issues many people now struggle with every day. The new generation of God’s children face a different path in their journey to follow Jesus.
Robin Jennings has seen the shift from the past to today’s world. He joins us in this episode of Seek Go Create to talk about how society has changed and how this has affected the Church. He dives into the important conversations that people need to have about faith, truth, and trust. The new generation is young and many are still seeking the road they want to take. Robin shares how you can reach out and be a mentor who guides others to find God’s presence in their lives.
No matter how much the world will continue to change, God will always be present. Join us in this episode for an insightful conversation about faith and the Church across the generations.
3 Reasons to Listen:
- Learn what it means to be present and how it can connect you with humanity and God.
- Gain a deeper understanding of the new generation and the world we live in today.
- Discover the importance of mentoring others.
- Visit the Seek Go Create website for show notes, resources, and more!
- A Letter to the Church and the Next Generation by Robin Jennings
- Download Robin’s four-week journal of guided reflection
- Connect with Robin: Website
Robin Jennings is a storyteller. He’s a professional speaker, teacher, and author who wants to share the importance of spiritual growth and encourage others to find guidance from the Bible. For over 30 years, Robin has worked in the Episcopal Church, having God work on him and through him. His years of experience help him equip others with the tools they need to participate in their faith and actively grow as a person.
Robin has been named one of the top religious leaders by Louisville Magazine. As an author, he has written multiple books, including A Letter to the Church and the Next Generation: Spiritual Growth Through the Witness of James.
You can learn more about Robin and his work within the Church on his website.
[02:21] Being Present with Robin Jennings
- Robin is a speaker, communicator, and minister. He’s at a time in his life when he is present to hear people’s stories, share his own, and have valuable conversations.
- He takes his time to reach out to people and help them find what they are seeking.
- Humanity experienced so much absence because of the pandemic. People lost their ability to connect and communicate.
- Younger generations focus on their individuality. They often grapple with losing and seeking their identities.
- Younger generations often feel lost and powerless.
[10:17] Embracing and Keeping Presence
- During family time and celebration, Robin’s wife encourages them to put their phones away.
- They stay present through conversations about their favorite memories. It allows them to tap into where they are and what’s important to them.
- We need face-to-face conversations to express our God-given humanity.
[12:07] “That thing that at a level that does kick you back is face-to-face kind of conversation that I think they’re hungering for.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[13:24] Becoming an Episcopal Minister
- Robin was raised Episcopalian. At first, he didn’t truly understand worship.
- He spent a lot of time seeking to understand better amid rocky circumstances.
- He ended up working in an Episcopal Boys Home, where he became interested in attending a seminary.
- Robin’s wife was his glue. Their marriage was largely rooted in the Church, and it became their protective bubble.
[20:36] God's Work Within You
- Robin was often called back to leadership to help him figure out what was happening within himself or within the parish.
- To do the work of God, God worked on Robin during his time in the seminary.
[22:37] “Before you can do the work of God, God needs to do some work in you.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[23:52] Trust in Leadership
- It’s important to gain each other’s trust. However, there is still so much distrust within and outside of the Church.
- Robin has seen the shifts between generations.
- Nowadays, there’s an emphasis on individuality, integrity, identity, and autonomy. Unfortunately, this has also started breaking the Church’s sense of community.
- Issues have evolved with time, and we need a different leadership to address them. Trust needs to be earned and is not just given.
[28:12] Individualistic Faith
- These days, people are more focused on their personal lives and situations. This same focus applies to their faith in God and Jesus.
- People need to have conversations about their spirituality and religion. They need to talk about the truth of each person, their religion, and their faith.
- Individual truths can also lead to conflict.
- Robin deals with this conflict by listening and really trying to understand. This ability to listen, ask, and converse is a gift from God.
[32:57] Consuming Consumers vs. Serving Servants
- Many people look at what they can get rather than what they can give.
- The world has become consumer-driven. Even churchgoers want facilities to accommodate their different wants and needs.
- People want material things and comfort. They don’t want to sacrifice their wants to have a place to worship God.
- However, you shouldn’t be friends with the world but be friends with God.
[36:59] “To not be friends with the world, but be friends with God.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[38:06] Attracting the Church
- The community can be unattractive because of many cross-generational issues across different organizations.
- Cultural shifts have a significant impact on the Church.
- The Bible is a source of theology. Unfortunately, few find reading the Bible attractive.
- Instead, people mainly get information from other sources like social media.
[46:17] What Faith Offers
- Robin first started seminary in a cathedral in Memphis, Tennessee. They mainly preached about reconciliation and reconnection.
- Worship is derived from the same word as worth. Robin found worth in worship and met like-minded people within the community.
- A faith-based community strengthens you. You can still get freedom and individuality within the context of faith and community.
- The passion of the Church is based on Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father.
- The message of the gospel is powerful and attractive.
[49:49] “People want something else. They want their freedom. They want their individuality. [But] you can get all that within the context of a community and within the context of our faith.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[53:49] The Importance of Mentoring
- The underlying themes of the book of James are mentoring and asking deeper questions.
- It is through mentoring that we can build a generational bridge of faith. James encourages the people of the Church to do it as well.
- Robin is passionate about serving. He is active in a faith-based counseling center where he witnesses the unfortunate state of the younger generations.
- You need to appeal to and connect with people through their needs. Help others reach the things they seek.
[59:41] A Mentor’s Conversation
- Mentoring means being present with your mentee. These days, speakers aim to reach a bigger audience instead of being present and focused.
- From a mentoring standpoint, a conversation can change and focus on different topics.
- Talk about each other’s growth as Christians and how the Church can grow in more ways than in money or number.
- As a last topic, you can focus on hope and what it can look like.
- You’re presenting Jesus and the Church through the conversation. Jesus is calling them to follow Him.
[01:02:11] What Gives Robin Hope
- For Robin, “hope” is expecting something good to happen. His lowest points weren’t hopeless.
- Robin has learned that God is good. He always hopes that God is in his life.
[01:03:15] “God is derived from the word good and so I’m expecting God to enter into my life.” - Click Here To Tweet This
[01:04:03] God on Earth
- Robin’s next book is called Expressions of the Soul. It tackles Celtic spirituality and life with God on Earth.
- He respects their closeness to God, which shows in their understanding of His presence on Earth through His creation.
- Robin chooses to seek and be part of God’s Kingdom.
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