How many generations have said it…
I don’t want to grow up to be just like my parents.
What was it about our parents that we didn’t like? They were old-fashioned. They didn’t understand us. They couldn’t relate. We don’t want to be that way, but, unfortunately, many of us end up just that way in our children’s eyes. We’re old-fashioned. We don’t understand them. We can’t relate. We end up being just like our parents.
This dichotomy in life extends into our churches today. Indeed, whole congregations and, dare I say it, denominations, end up segregated from an important portion of our society. Ok, so maybe I’m stretching it a bit here… but seriously, maybe we could be more focused on our youth than we have come to be.
What happens to churches when they start focusing too much on the insiders? They quickly lose touch… and footing on solid ground in the mission to spread the Gospel. Young, vibrant churches are filled with young people and are leading people of every age group to Jesus Christ.
That’s the one mission of our existence here, more than any other. I’m good with the “we all need a place” concept. Maybe think of this as inspiration focused on those who strive to have influence, and lead others within our communities…
Why are the young people today so important?
Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population is 25 and younger. On top of that, our youth are said to be maturing more slowly now than in the past. I keep reading that 26 is the new 18. Compile this trend with the fact that 45% of the workforce is composed of the baby boomers, a group who are heading toward retirement, and we’ve identified what could possibly be the most important opportunity that we have today: Mentoring the next group of leaders in our society.
Influence through connecting with them. Building trust by developing authentic relationships with them. Making disciples out of them, so that they can then move forward in the process of leading others to Jesus.
Maybe it’s time to break up the holy huddle and focus outwardly on a different group that needs us.
Just solid food for thought today…