Thursday, May 27, 2010

Using our Homes to Reach the Next Generation

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.

11 comments:

  1. I like this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. (Can't get my comments to post--but one more try)
    This is so true, and unfortunately we've allowed our hectic schedule to preclude doing this more. One young lady that we had in one night for spaghetti and playing cards talks about that night years later as if it is the highlight of her life. Everytime we have done this it has been productive, for the kids and for us. Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is where the rubber hits the road. Young people have seen everything today. Between TV technolgy they see through everything. What they want is the Real Deal. If we shall impact them for Christ they must see Christ in us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So true whether it was military men in our younger days or church members and English students now. Some of the best fruit has come from this!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Heard you hosted 21 young adults at your home last night for a bonfire and are holding a formal dinner for 13 at your house tonight. WOW, you are the busy pastor.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, we did host 21 last night. Tonight's count keeps going up, hosting 16 now. Thank God we have a big kitchen. Tonight's formal dinner is for a group of students at one of our high schools. They have their prom tonight and with the economy like it is, some of them could not afford a fancy dinner before the prom. So we are hosting a full Itallian dinner at our home for 16. Another couple from the church and my wife and I are serving as chef, servers, etc. I even put a tie on to make it fancy. And I don't even wear a tie to preach in!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pastor Larry Weeks, Community Baptist Church, Montgomery Center, VTJune 2, 2010 at 7:02 AM

    This really hits we must impact the next generation. What we forget is they want the "Real Deal" My daughter is 15 and she sees right through the smoke an mirrors. Keep doing what your doing Terry.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Frank Rothe, Executive Director, Connect With Kids, Inc.June 2, 2010 at 7:04 AM

    I like this.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for opening up your home to my friend. I hear he is hanging there tonight while things cool off at home.

    ReplyDelete
  10. 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:

    http://www.crossbooks.com/BookStore/BookStoreBookDetails.aspx?bookid=58188

    The book is also available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles.com 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.

    ReplyDelete