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The Future of the Church

July 30, 2013

Currently, there are many reports declaring the pending demise of the church. They pronounce the church to be on life support and are sowing the seeds of fear into the heart of believers. Pastors are proclaiming a crisis because statistics show the younger generation is leaving the church when they head off to college. Acknowledge this situation is happening, but do not despair. This weekend, I had the opportunity to see something to provide hope, and it needs to be shared just as loud.

A young lady and two of her friends came to our church Sunday to lead worship. She just graduated high school and will be heading off to college this fall. They planned, and executed, a well prepared worship set. They chose theologically sound songs, and arraigned the set with smooth transitions. They were thoughtful to the presentation, prayed with fervor, and focused on leading people in worship. This was a reminder to me that the church has a bright future in the hands of these young adults.

I share all of this to illustrate that the church is alive. There are young people who have a passion for God and they are out in the world putting that passion into action. Their idea of church may not look like the church of those in their 30’s and beyond. But they are living out their faith. The church can look to these young adults as the future of the church. That is something to be excited about.

The generations need to come together in churches and allow young adults to have a voice in the future of the church. This upcoming generation is a generation of action, a generation of “doing”. Keeping them on the sidelines is ignoring their ability to be a valuable part of the church. The cost of shutting them out and keeping them silent is the stunted growth of the church. If the church continues in decline, it will be the fault of the established leadership closing out the younger generations.

This week, take the time to listen to the young leaders in the church. Really listen to what they have to say. Enter conversations with them. They have much to teach each of us, just as we can teach them. Invest in them and let them take part in their future.

 

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