Are We The 'Barney Generation?'
By David W. Daniels
This morning I was thinking about how we’ve got to be spreading the gospel. Maybe we have become the “Barney” generation.
You remember the Barney show, the big purple dinosaur: “I love you, you love me.” I was an elementary school teacher when I heard about it and saw little glimpses. Then I read a report that the series was created to get 2-year-olds to stop moving. I had to try it out, because I was an elementary school teacher.
I could not try it out on the school students, so I tried it out on my own kids! I lined them up on the couch, turned on the TV and watched the purple dinosaur and all the little hyperactive kids on the show who couldn’t stop moving. I soon realized that I was sitting there with my mouth open, staring at the antics on the TV.
Suddenly I snapped out of it remembering that I had a purpose for doing this. I looked down at the couch at the different ages of kids. It didn’t matter what age they were. They were all sitting there, completely still, with their mouths hanging open, just as I had been. It was really true! It stopped people from moving.
Then I thought: “You know what? We’re in danger of becoming the ‘Barney’ generation.” We sit there in church, and we listen to our preferred type of music. And we’re confident we’re saved, we’re Christians and we’re happy with our nice little lives. We just soak it all in. We act like our only purpose is just to enjoy God forever! But we forget that God put us here for a purpose.
Two-year-olds are meant to go out and explore their world, because God created them that way. He made them to interact. That’s how they learn and grow and move through the different stages of life. In the same way, we as Christians also have to go through our stages. Healthy Christians want to spread the gospel, because there really is a judgment at the end. And people will be judged by whether they have faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus; and if not they go to the lake of fire. We don’t want them to go there. We want them to go to heaven. So we have to do something. We need to get moving.
That’s why I have a shirt with a pocket, and that’s why I have my Chick tracts. Even when I can’t talk to someone, I’ve got my tracts right there ready!
As you know, I am a Bible-toting, tract-passing, King James Bible-loving fanatic. That’s who I am and what I do. But passing out tracts is something anybody can do. We can be ready to give an answer, or at least hand out a tract to somebody we don’t have time to talk to. Even language isn’t a barrier, when we have a Chick tract in their language.
1 Corinthians 3 says that wood, hay and stubble all burn up in the fire at the judgment seat of Christ. But, if we have gold, silver and precious stones —the things that we do for Jesus Christ, we will receive a reward. The parable of the pounds in Luke 19 also says there’s reward for being faithful with what God gives us to do.
That old Devil can’t get us to go to hell if we’re saved. But he does everything he can to make us ineffective. God wants us to spread the gospel. Let’s be faithful with what He’s given us and spread the gospel whatever way we can, and not become the “Barney” generation.