Thursday, July 1, 2010
The Church of Today
I visit a lot of churches in my efforts to promote church planting and evangelism. Because of my passion for reaching the next generation for Christ, people often speak to me about their desire to build the "church of tomorrow." I also find that phrase used frequently in articles and online discussions with other Christian leaders. Though I know that people mean well when they use that phrase, it actually communicates something negative to young adults.
What church leaders are actually communicating to young people when they refer to them as the "church of tomorrow" is that young people have no current value to the church. They may have value in some future "tomorrow" but they have no value right now. Young people 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 should not be.
If churches want to attract the next generation, they have to begin to value them the way God does. Churches must begin to recognize that young people are gifted by God and can be used by Him in powerful ways. At Faith Community Church young people are full partners in leading the church and in sharing the Gospel with our community. They help lead the worship, teach children's church, clean the building and offer valuable insights into how ministries should function. They are valued as the church of today.
Churches that lack the ability or willingness to value young people as the church of today will most likely continue to hemorrhage young adults to other churches or to the world. Churches that really value young people will soon have a new problem, where to put them all!