Thursday, February 21, 2013

What to Do with the Next Generation When They Finally Come to Church

Churches that have a vision to obey the Great Commission must become intentional in their eorts to reach the next generation. Churches who seek to reach out to this group will venture outside the walls of their buildings and into the communities around them. Churches will engage the culture with the gospel by meeting specific community needs, helping the less fortunate, viewing evangelism as more of a process than an event, helping young people deal with pain, and explaining why it is logical to believe in God.
Only after we use these techniques to build bridges to postmodern people will many of them be interested in discovering who Christ is in their personal lives. That process of discovering Christ will eventually lead them to attend church. We want them to have a positive experience when they finally decide to visit a church so they will continue to progress in their spiritual journey. We want them to continue to learn and process what it means to be part of the body of Christ through meaningful involvement in a community of faith.

We cannot give up biblical principles to please postmodernists. Otherwise we will have defeated the purpose of all our eorts to share such principles with them in the first place. Therefore, we will want to ask ourselves what we will do to help young people have a worship experience that is both culturally relevant and biblically sound when they finally come to church.

Based on my experience with young people, there are six things we can do in our worship services that will speak to the culture of young people without violating biblical principles.

1. Use a lot of technology.

2. Maintain a sense of the sacred.

3. Have music that will move them closer to God.

4. Have a worship service that is experiential.

5. Use sermons that are delivered passionately and include relevant application to real-life issues.

6. Help all who visit feel like they belong.

Over the new few posts we will look at each of these six things in more detail.

Adapted from Dr. Dorsett’s book, Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, published by CrossBooks, a division of Lifeway Christian Resources.


  1. Now that is good stuff, practical, can't wait to read the rest of the posts.

  2. Will be interesting to read the rest. I always Cringe when I hear terms like "A Worship Service that is Experimental" or "Have Music that will bring them Closer to God" But so far I have liked and agreed with you most of the time so I will see what you come up with. It is hard for the Church to Compete with the New Age, Feel Good Church when it come to the youth and I doubt there is one answer so it is always good to hear others Ideas. One thing I do know is if the Church Members do not Live what they Preach then that turns off the Youngins quicker than anything. Looking forward to your next posts.

  3. Bill, I really do appreciate your input. And I share your concerns. I've seen the whole "reach the next generation" thing done well, and I've seen it done so poorly that I'm not sure it was still orthodox Christianity. I pray that the Lord helps us find the road through the land minds so that we can be faithful to His Word and reach a generation that does not understand His Word any longer.

  4. Hey Terry. I recommended your blog to the Blackaby Group that I'm a part of with Linkedin. They had a discussion about reaching the next generation. Prayerfully that will generate some new readership that you can have a positive influence over. Keep up the good work. God bless.