You can’t help but notice in most congregations the aging group of worshipers. Oh sure there are exceptions, but apart from some young family members/children/teens their is a noticeable vacuum of the next generation. (Even these family members disappear as young adults) It’s obvious to anyone that wants to have a look that our congregations are not compelling and reaching the current generation… It’s a as if these institutions are from a bygone era especially in our connected world. I’ve been wondering what is the answer, Certainly God knows how to reach people… And each generation He does so – I’m wondering how the lost of this generation can be reached for God.
I came across the following and without debating “emerging”, I found it insightful…
John is the pastor of Gateway Church in Austin, Texas.
No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come as You are Culture in the Church
“I find our generation [i.e., the young people of the post-modern or emerging generation] incredibly open to spiritual truth and dialogue, but they have grown up in a world of competing beliefs. People just check out when they feel that Christians are arrogant and unwilling to consider the ‘truth’ claims of others as well. But they are very open to hearing expressions of truth and stories illustrating why God’s words are true. They long to experience something firm and solid that ‘feels’ true. They don’t resist truth; they resist arrogance…”
“Fundamentally, truth is not primarily propositional, but personal. Jesus said, ‘I am the truth…’ The best way to help emerging generations find truth is to introduce them to him.”
“Generally, emerging generations do not ask, ‘What is true?’ They are primarily asking, ‘Do I want to be like you?’ In other words, they see truth as relational. ‘If I want to be like you, then I want to consider what you believe. If I don’t see anything real or attractive in you or your friends as Christ-followers, I don’t care how true you think it is, I’m not interested.'”
“… Postmodern thought presents a potentially greater opportunity than threat for the church. Why? First, because post-modern thought has made spiritual pursuit culturally acceptable. This provides an opportunity not seen in past decades to nurture the souls of a spiritually hungry generation. They do not fear the mystery of God; they embrace mystery. They long to experience the deeper realities of a spiritually fulfilling existence”.