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!

8 comments:

  1. a message so many people need to hear

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  2. Joanne Graves, Knox City, TXJuly 2, 2010 at 6:31 AM

    dear Terry, This is very good.

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  3. Interesting... I've always thought the phrase devalued "old people" by saying their opinions and preferences don't matter, or are less important - that we want to focus on the young generation. Maybe I'm not familiar with the phrase in the context in which you're referring to it.

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  4. Grant,

    Thanks for your comment. You bring up a great point, which is that all generations should be valued and respected as important parts of the church of today. Youth should not be considered the “church of tomorrow” any more than older people should be considered the “church of yesterday.” Both groups are the church of TODAY. Both are valuable and both should have a voice. But sadly, in most churches, the older generation is in “control” and therefore what they want is overly valued. Then 20 years later everyone wonders where the young people went. Thanks for the input, it helps clarify the concept.

    Terry

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  5. Terry thank you for your heart to take the gospel to all people.

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  6. AMEN! Thanks, Terry, for the wake-up call. There is NOTHING more frustrating in my ministry than this problem.

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  7. Susan Van DeusenJuly 7, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    I like this one. The Word of God is for all Christians, regardless of age. Our young people are complete and active members of the church now. Their contributions are just as important as the contribution of the rest of us.

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  8. 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.

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