Many churches are struggling to reach the next generation. In order to attract young people back into church, mega churches are building Starbucks in their lobbies or erecting health club quality activity buildings on their growing campuses or hiring multiple staff members assigned to lead programs for young people. There are endless piles of curriculum and materials being published by Christian publishing companies aimed at helping churches engage young people in the life of the church. While these programs and materials may have merit and perhaps a church based Starbucks or health club might be an appropriate tool in some contexts, we might be overlooking one of our most valuable assets; our homes. Most of us have a place we call home, no matter how humble it might be. Why not use our homes as outreach tools in reaching the next generation for the Lord? It was one of the classic models used in the New Testament era and has been used effectively in modern times around the globe.
Many young people in the next generation have grown tired of the slick presentations that many churches offer and instead they long for authentic relationships and a real sense of family. Getting together in a home naturally offers that type of environment. This does not mean that we have to abandon our church buildings; obviously it would be a bit difficult for most of us to have a full fledged worship experience for a large crowd in our homes. But a simple get together where we talk about what God is doing in our lives, pray for each other and encourage each can be done in a home of any size. Add in some light refreshments and maybe a fun game or two and suddenly a wonderful Christ-honoring and Christian relationship strengthening evening emerges. The cost is very low, so anyone can afford it. Very little formal training is required, so anyone can host it. And most of all, it helps Christians get real with each other. It may mean that we have to wash a few more dishes and vacuum the carpet a little more frequently, but those seem like minor things to do in our efforts to join God in His work of calling people to Himself.