By Not Known
We have often heard people say, “the youths are our future”, and who we groom today will become our leaders tomorrow. Yes, youths are important and it’s also true that we are probably losing them in church as they grow up. How many of the kids in our Sunday school 10 years ago are still with us today?
We have also said that times are changing fast and the strategies to reach the youths are losing its attractiveness even before they are implemented. Are we really losing ground and losing them?
There was an article that asserted that the reason why people (not just youths) are leaving the church “is because they’re all lazy, spoiled, self-centred consumers, who only want to be entertained, and catered to, and pleased.” Is this why our youths are leaving us because the church today is spoiling them, lazy in reaching them and we are too boring to them?
Others countered and said that youths are leaving because “they don’t take their faith seriously, they don’t genuinely love Jesus, and they don’t want to work hard to do God’s will.”
Well, there may be some truth in that. Those heading out the church’s door just couldn’t find what they were seeking; and those still hanging on are hanging on without finding much meaning and purpose anyway.
If we analyse it, really, the vast majority of those who are opting-out of Christianity and her churches, are doing so because they either feel like they are not welcomed, not needed, or not given a compelling mission. And then as they are invited to make that mission tangible in the world outside the buildings…; so they leave those buildings; not to escape their calling, but to find it.
The future of the church has never been just about young people. The future leaders of the church do not just come from those who grew up in our Sunday school. Rather the future of the church is all about sinners who have been saved by grace and are being discipled into committed believers who love the Lord, and understand His calling to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Do we in church see ourselves as the church of our Lord? Do we in church look at our young people and are we filled with the love of our Lord to share the Gospel with them and to disciple them so that they may do the same?
When we do, that is the future of the church: a Christ-centred community, young and old, that is obedient to the Gospel call to make disciples of all nations. The future of the church is about all of us and not just the youths.