Terry shares the same passion for smaller churches that I have, and this is his latest book that speaks to the challenges and opportunities that exist in such churches. In this book he shares how smaller churches can effectively reach the next generation with the Gospel. Not only does he give practical advice for how to do that, he gives examples of smaller churches who are doing that well. Throughout this book he proves that smaller churches can have an effective outreach to younger adults and youth.
He also points out that such outreach will only be effective if the church changes some of its beliefs. One such belief that I often hear is that our church must begin to reach young people because “they are the future of our church.” As the author explains, that mindset tells young people they have no current value to the church which will likely cause them to leave. Youth and young adults are not the future of the church; they are the church of today, and we need to value them as such.
Terry also addresses what he calls tradition idolatry, a great term I had not heard before. He defines tradition idolatry as the belief that following our religious traditions is the same as following God. While some traditions may have great value and need to be preserved, others may have been a good way to do things at one time but now serve only as a stumbling block to effective ministry today. We need to examine each of our traditions and see which category they fall into.
This small book is a quick read and filled with helpful suggestions to help your church more effectively reach the next generation, a generation missing in many of our smaller churches. I certainly recommend it.