Speaking of attendance, the spike in attendance at Basics matches what we’re seeing at other gatherings like Gospel Coalition and Together 4 the Gospel. I find that interesting. More and more people are flocking to conferences that are passionate about exposition, theology, particular theological frameworks and so forth. Again, very interesting and exciting in many ways.
This is, I think, the crowd that Collin Hansen has called young, restless, and reformed.
One pastor told me that when he preaches on tough issues, the older people argue with him. The younger people are prepared to be contradicted by Scripture, and they don’t seem to fight back as much.
Another older pastor told me he’s not putting much hope in the baby boomers, but he puts a lot of hope in the younger group that goes to conferences like The Gospel Coalition.
These two pastors were into exposition and theology before it was popular. They’re just not used to having so much company.
Even Bill Hybels is advising pastors to stop trying to entertain twenty-somethings. Instead, he says, engage them.
Every generation has its weaknesses, and this is only a small segment of the whole. Still, it is exciting to see a group that is interested in theology and willing to be challenged, not just entertained. Just a fad? Hope not.