Though there are a many ways to create a sense of belonging, one way is to allow young adults to take part the various religious activities of the church. Obviously, they will not be able to take part in all the activities of the church, as some are reserved for genuine believers, but the more they can take part in, the better. The decisions churches make about what types of religious ceremonies to allow outsiders to participate in often say more about the churches’ commitment to evangelism than it does their theological positions. Finding that balance between theological integrity and intentional outreach can be a challenge, but it is a challenge worth engaging in.
Some churches may wonder if the next generation will just enjoy the beneﬁts of religious ceremonies (such as using the church for a wedding) but never actually make a commitment to Christ or to the church. This is a valid concern. It is logical to conclude that some people will take advantage of the church. But the church has always had those in her midst who abused the care and compassion of the church for their own beneﬁt. Why should we expect anything diﬀerent from the next generation? Churches cannot allow the poor behavior of a few to keep them from attempting to reach an entire generation.
The above article is adapted from Terry Dorsett’s book, Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, published by CrossBooks.
Read part one.
Read part two.