Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Church of Today

Nearly a hundred adults and their families worshiped on a recent Sunday to powerful worship music with hands raised and voices lifted in praise as the Youth Praise Band from our church led the weekly worship service. Three rows of teens were present in the worship service in their customary section near the back. As I reflect on why our church has been so effective at reaching the next generation, it occurs to me that one reason is because we allow God to use the teens in ministry. Most churches say that teens are the church of tomorrow. While church leaders mean well when they say such things, what they are actually communicating to the teens is that teens have no current value. They may have value in some future "tomorrow" but they have no value right now. Teens hear that message and decide that if they are not valued at church, they will go somewhere that does value them, which all too often ends up being places they shouldn’t be.

If churches want to attract teens, they have to begin to value them the way God does. Churches must begin to recognize that teens are gifted by God and can be used by Him in powerful ways. Our teens used to lead worship once every six weeks, then it became once a month. Now it is up to two or three times a month. They don’t just lead worship, they also help with children’s church, they are active raising money to pay off the mortgage and they even help clean the building. Three weeks ago I was nearly moved to tears as I watched one 17 year old young man put his offering in the offering box, it may have been small, but it was one more example of his growing spiritual maturity in Christ.

At Faith Community Church teens are full partners with the adults in leading the church and in sharing the Gospel with our community. If you find yourself in a place where teens have no real value, perhaps its time to come worship with us and watch what God can do in the life of your teen.

Dr. T

Learn more about reaching young people in Dr. Terry Dorsett's book, Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church.


  1. Our youth praise team was a vital part to my brohters memormial service on Sun. They did a wonderful job and the songs were just perfect. The message they had were perfect to help give me comfront to the loss of my brother. I was so proud to have them take part and when asked they were just fine with it. Thank you just does not eem enough for the service they do in Faith Community Church. Thank you Joyce Dorsett

  2. Very inspiring and encouraging post. We will continue to lift up this ministry to the Lord. Tell your teens that they are setting an expample for churches everwhere.

  3. Your words are right on target. When I went to pastor one church, there were several teens. But they were just there. Had no real responsibilities. First I enlisted some to take up the offerings morning & night. Next, our choir director enlisted them for a youth choir. Within one year we had a 60 voice youth choir, & youth helping with various ministries. Are youth important in our churches? You better believe it, & give them a place to serve. I am glad you are encouraging your youth today! Bob

  4. Looking for practical ways to put some of the principles in this blog post into action? Purchase my book, Developing Leadership Teams in the Bivocational Church. The first part of the book explains why bivocational ministry is biblical, normal and missional. The second part of the book explains how to mobilize the laity to do high level ministry in a team setting with the pastor so that the church can be effective in reaching its community for Christ.
    The book is published by Crossbooks and you can buy the book directly from them at:

    The book is also available on, Barnes and and a many other online bookstores.
    If you live in Central Vermont, you can purchase a copy at the Faith Community Church in Barre, VT.