Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Rethinking Youth Ministry...

[Note: This news article is why I will continue to invest the rest of my short life infecting the next generations with D3 Jesus-like disciplemaking.]
Former Archbishop of Canterbury warns Christianity at risk of dying out in a generation

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has a warning for Christian churches: Attract young people to the faith or risk losing it forever.

According to The Telegraph, Carey said Christianity is just a “generation away from extinction” in Britain unless churches have a breakthrough in attracting young people. 
Clergy are gripped by a “feeling of defeat” and congregations are worn down by “heaviness," he said.
Carey said the public greets both with “rolled eyes and a yawn of boredom," according to The Telegraph. 
Carey made his remarks at a Shrewsbury conference discussing how the church could be "re-imagined." 
“So many people do not see the average church as a place where great things happen," he said. “To sit in a cold church looking at the back of other peoples’ heads is surely not the best place to meet exciting people and to hear prophetic words.”
According to The Telegraph, Carey cited a lack of youth ministries as one of the sources of the problem.  
“So many churches have no ministry to young people and that means they have no interest in the future," he said. “We have to give cogent reasons to young people why the Christian faith is relevant to them.”
Sunday congregations in the U.K. have almost halved since 1970 to just 807,000 in the most recent figures, The Telegraph reported. 

[Taken from here.]
Let's ponder this for a moment.

Did you note that one of the problems identified was a lack of youth ministries?

Two questions come to my mind immediately...

1. Why aren't parents identified as an important part of the solution in this conversation when research shows it's parents more than anyone else who have the most impact on whether or not their kids become reproducing diciplemakers?

Parents are the number one reason why students grow up and keep the faith rather than discarding the faith. I don't know a single youth leader who didn't wish that every student had parents who were thriving spiritually themselves. It's a boon to the kids themselves AND the youth ministry as a whole. It's a game changer and MUST be a part of this important conversation.

But's this is not the only conversation we need to have.

While I love youth ministry (it's what I've done in one form or another my entire adult life), I have to dare to ask this second question:

2. What eternal good is a youth ministry that doesn't exits to help students to be disciples who make disciples who make more disciplesrelationallynot programmaticallylike Jesus did?

Stop and ponder your answer to question #2 for a moment.

This a generation that wants to change the world. Let's help them do it like Jesus did!

Instead of simply setting up a youth ministry program that only reaches one generation, perhaps we could do something crazy with the next generationlike study the Gospels for the disciplemaking genius of Jesus—and then try to live and replicate Jesus' disciplemaking way of living... ad infinitum.

One problem is that we don't really believe that students can be disciples who become disciplemakers. I vehemently disagree with this false, and often, unspoken assumption.

If we dared to live and pass on a disciplemaking way of life like Jesus, the next generation would change the world like Jesus didand continues to do.

If all we do is gather the next generation together for growth without helping them disciple their friends, then the above article will be right: "Christianity is just a 'generation away from extinction.'”

We haven't made disciples like Jesus until those we disciple make more disciples.

Want More?
* Disciplemaking training for every follower of Jesus
* Equipping the next generation of disciplemakers
* Training: Love God, Love People, Make Disciplemakers
* Helping the next gen change the world


Get Cup O' Joe with Bill in your Email Inbox!
Let me encourage you and make you think 2-3x a week with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Go here and submit your email. Then check your email inbox and click the Feedburner confirmation link. Note: You can unsubscribe anytime simply by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of any email that comes from Cup O' Joe with Bill.

No comments: