Tony Morgan writes,
“Most churches in America are designed for an older audience. In fact, the more-seasoned folks in those churches are sitting on committees telling the students and young adults how they can and can’t do ministry. The result? Younger people are leaving churches in droves.”
I completely agree with Tony! The younger people.. the youth of the church don’t feel like its their church. They have no feeling of ownership or stake in the church or the service. If that’s the case it is easy to walk away from something and leave it without out it even bothering them one little bit. However, ask a youth to leave a service that they started, feel passionate about and have a stake in its success and you will be like trying to pull a new born baby from its overprotective mother.
How is it that we give the youth this feeling that this church is for you, it is yours, you have ownership in it? Tony writes, “Here’s what I know to be true. If the church is going to continue to reach the next generations…”
- He writes that he must “be willing to give leadership to people younger than me…and let them make mistakes.” I agree with this but of course they wont be without someone who would fulfill the role of an adviser/overseer.
- He writes that he needs “to embrace new methods of ministry…even though it makes me uncomfortable.” Just because its new and that its not the way it has been fro thousands of years does not make it wrong! Every new method should be evaluated and considered and if it is acceptable implemented with zeal.
- He writes he needs to “encourage and finance the next generation church…and stop trying to make church a place that I like to attend.” I would like to emphasize encourage! I feel that sometimes the vibe that is given off by church leaders is that everyone should get behind the idea if it is presented by someone who is older and that if it is the same idea from a younger person it is shot down. There needs to be an active encouragement of our youth to participate and to take leadership roles so that even if they don’t they know that they could! We need to replace the “I can’t” attitude with an “I CAN” attitude.
Let us remember what H.H. Pope Shenouda III always says, “The youth are the future of the church… A church without youth is a church without a future…” H.G. Bishop David has gone further to say that the youth are the present of the church with the understanding that the future is now! Our church must become the church of the youth and the youth must step up to be the Christian leaders they are called to be!
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