Churches across America are losing their young people at a rapid pace. Though some larger churches in more urban areas have developed innovative means to re-engage the next generation, most of those innovative means are not viable for smaller churches and for churches that are in smaller towns or rural areas. Is the small church to simply abandon the next generation because they cannot afford to put a Starbucks in their lobby or hold a laser light show in their sanctuary? No! There are many things small churches can do to reach the next generation. In fact, there are some things the small church can do better than the large church to reach the under 35 crowd.
In Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, Dr. Terry W. Dorsett gives four key principles that any size church can use to reach the next generation. Those concepts include: helping the church regain its position as the social center of the community, helping the church regain its position as the community religious center, helping the church use its facilities and location as outreach tools, and helping the church regain its position as the philosophical center of the community. While the first three concepts are fairly easy to implement, the fourth one is a bigger challenge.
The first half of the book covers the first three concepts. Most leaders in small churches will find comfort in learning some fairly simple and easy to use ideas for how to implement those three concepts.
The entire second half of the book helps church leaders wrestle with the concepts of postmodernism, which are competing for the philosophical soul of America's young people. With an emphasis on moving beyond the four walls of the church while viewing evangelism as more of a process than an event, Dr. Dorsett shows how small churches can reach out to a generation in pain and help nonbelievers see the logical path toward a God of truth. The final chapter reveals insider secrets to how churches can adjust their worship services to impact the next generation while maintaining a strong commitment to biblical worship.
The book gives practical ideas and real life examples of small churches that are effectively reaching the next generation. Dr. Dorsett, who is a theological conservative, takes great care in showing how to reach out to people who disagree with the church's position on various issues without compromising key biblical values.
Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church is coming to a book store near you soon and will also be available at over 25,000 online retailers in a few weeks. More details to follow.