Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Future

The church seems to be worrying all the time about the future. (Has it always been this way? I don't know.) As numbers (both people and dollars) decline, enthusiasm lags, and leaders get burnt out, we wonder how this effort can be sustained. Among those in my generation, fewer and fewer are actively religious. So the church worries... how can we get "the young people" into the church?

Okay, first of all, my beloved brothers and sisters, stop talking about "the young people" like they're an alien race. And stop talking about "the young people" as if there isn't one right in front of you (that would be me, and my friends and classmates). There are young people in the church. We may be exceptions that prove the rule, but we don't like being spoken about as if we didn't exist.

Second of all, brothers and sisters, stop acting like you can fool or manipulate young people into coming to church. Having a praise band - or a facebook page - will not magically draw us in like a magnet. We are smart people, we care about things in the world, we know when we're being respected and when we're being patronized. So respect us.

Third of all, stop acting like this is up to you. The church is not our church - the church is God's church. God is in charge. (Now, that doesn't give us a pass; we don't get to do nothing.) God will preserve and sustain God's people. God will breathe new life into us, like those dry bones in Ezekiel. As people of faith, we should trust in the power and promise of the God we proclaim. Otherwise, it looks like we don't trust God enough to get the job done... and what kind of God would that be?

Fourth of all, go read this post. I can't say it any better.

1 comment:

Ivy said...

Well said Jennie! Thanks for this needed reminder.