The Young People Don’t Have All the Answers

At the beginning of October I wrote a blog titled ‘Where Are All the Young People?’ I encouraged those who are older in the church to come and talk to those of use in the church who are younger. Believe it or not, it may be the beginning of a very fruitful friendship. Today I’m going to address this issue again, but in a little different way.

So many people I talk to in church today continue to look for new ways to attract young people. We saw the emergent church rise up, we see church planting becoming trendy, even t-shirts that declare “John Calvin Is My Homeboy.” Yet despite all the churches efforts to change in order to attract more young people, they continue to leave in droves. Why is this? I think the emergent church is a perfect example of this: they are willing to skimp on the essentials in order to be more trendy to a larger demographic. I’m sorry, but Christianity and Jesus are not trendy topics. It isn’t easy to follow a guy who’s example of leadership was washing his disciples feet and who told his followers that to follow him meant to give up everything, even their lives (see Matthew 16). I think the church has sacrificed on far too many essentials in a drastic attempt to reach out to those who are leaving those very churches.

So what is the answer to this? We need to refuse to give in on the essentials. We need to be in a community of believers that encourages each other (Hebrews 10), we need to daily take up our cross to follow Jesus (Matthew 16) and we cannot be ashamed of who Jesus is (Mark 8:38). It’s not helpful to the world to try to make Jesus your homeboy and missing the atoning sacrifice that makes him your Savior.

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