Pastor and author Carey Nieuwhof wrote this recently, “Much of the church’s outreach over the last 60 years has been based on a few assumptions that are less and less true every year.” He lists three assumptions that are no longer true. They illustrate what it looks like as we move from an era of Christendom to a post-Christian society.
o Young adults will return to church when they have kids.
First of all, they're having fewer kids (or none at all). Second, when they do have kids, church is one activity among many (soccer, dance, tutoring, etc.).
o People will turn to God when they hit a crisis.
If they hit a crisis, they might turn to God. And if they do turn to God, they don't look to the church. Among younger generations especially, there is a distinct separation between the church and God.
o Most people will come back to what they left when they were young.
We now have people who are 2nd or 3rd generation unchurched. They have nothing to go back to because they were never there.
For decades, we've built our church programming around these assumptions. What happens when these assumptions are no longer true? Are we building ministry around a people who no longer exist (or are a rare minority)? What does it look like to build ministry around the existing reality?
9/6/2013 11:47:06 am
I think we definitely keep building around members that no longer exist at our church and spending in ways that could be better allocated based on where the church is headed. This year in Sunday School we only had one child in our 3 year old class and one in 5th grade so those children moved to other classes. It looks like a foretaste of what's to come. I think we need to pour our assets, people and money, into youth and family ministry. I see a real need for a female/male youth leadership team and a full time family minister. I don't think we're adequately serving our membership without these positions. Almost all of my children in Sunday School go on to attend our Christian school. I feel like I'm essentially preaching to the choir. There's a whole other community of public school children at church that aren't being served in ministry. My heart breaks for them. Our church is like a close knit family. There's all these other family members that need to be brought into the fold, but they don't know the way in. We need ministry feet to the ground to bring these people in. One youth leader and busy pastors aren't enough.
Leave a Reply.
JOIN My Tribe