Every church says they do – what does it mean when it comes to your ministry with Emerging Generations?
One of the six core commitments of a church that is growing young is their dedication to take Jesus’ message seriously. Obviously every church says they do, so why aren’t their pews full to overflowing with young people?
Put quite simply: we haven’t encouraged young people to connect with the dangerous, challenging, and completely transformational Gospel of Jesus.
Part of the work done in the Growing Young research connects with the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) in the United States, and in doing so revealed a large number of young people who admit to having a faith connected to a gospel that is deeply rooted in Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD), or sits blandly in a ‘Golden Rule’ gospel, with very few connecting into a Gospel of grace.
It’s all about rules, assuaging consciences, and doing good for others to make you feel good about yourself. Both these understandings do not reflect the full truth and freedom of the Gospel exhibited in the grace God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
It’s also super-confronting, because it is parents and their church that have let them down – allowing them to get comfortable with a lazy gospel based on how it makes you feel or what you get out of it.
So, to help our thinking moving forward, some questions to ponder:
- How are young people in our church invited to put their faith into action rather than simply focus on behaviours to avoid?
- How are questions, struggles, and doubts about faith handled in our church?
- In what ways are testimonies or faith journeys shared in our congregation?
- What are the rituals that have been especially important in our church or broader tradition? How could we tap into the significance of ritual even more?
The PULSE team would love to come and speak with you and your congregation about how a Growing Young consultation could transform the culture of your church and help young people discover and love your church. Send us an email and let’s get started!
Molk is the Senior Field Officer (North), and responsible for young adult ministry as a part of the PULSE team.