The Heart Behind
THIS GENERATION MINISTRIES
We believe that the heart of the Father is to “raise-up this generation to reach this generation” with the powerful life changing message of God’s love.
You have heard it said, “this generation is the church of tomorrow.” This statement seems sound and factual at first until each generation looks back through time and finds “they” were never handed the reins of the church, nor did “they” become the church until “they” were much older and feeling they have lost any relevance. You see, the problem lies in the “view” we have of young people. By our actions we believe that this generation must be as old as us before they will reach their true spiritual potential as well as value to the church.
Yes, we have read the dark stats about this generation and its current direction. We rally together in the hope that a program, ministry, movement or method will appear and reroute their destructive direction and yet we often miss the most powerful resource to reach them! …Them!
It has been noted by many current church leaders that some 70 to 80% of young people will leave the church and their faith within the first four years after high school. Many of these teens actively involved in a spiritually growing and nurturing youth ministry during their teen years and yet will leave the church? Yes, they will continue to leave the church as long as they are simply another church department. Yes, they will continue to leave the church as long as we “church leaders” view them as “not ready” for real ministry as if we are. Yes, they will continue to leave the church as long as we the church allow our youth ministries to reach this generation with culturally relevant, out of the box, cutting edge ministry methods and then “expect” these same young people to make a dramatic cultural shift and embrace a methodology designed by and for a generation that has little to no relevance to a young persons needs, values, and also learning methods.
I find it disturbing that most churches are open to their youth ministries using current methods that speak to a younger culture and demographic effectively only for the purpose and intent of introducing them to Jesus. After these methods are effective in bringing them into a real relationship with the Heavenly Father the church then expects these young people to embrace the “adult service” as if they grew up in that environment. We the church expect these young people to make this transition with ease, even though we know that our own youth who have grown up in the church are discontent and according to stats, will most likely leave the church.
We adults would never consider “making a transition” to a format that ministers to young people, as a matter of fact, we expect them to “come around” to our thinking, our style, our music, our literature, our interests, our hobbies, etc. this religious posture is keeping this generation of young people distant from the church.
We will even be offended when they don’t embrace the hymn that is so dear to us. That hymn that carried us through a difficult time, that song of old that reminds us of a defining moment. Yet, we wouldn’t dare consider embracing the “new” song that cut to their heart, got them through their difficult times and created a lasting memory of their defining moment with Jesus. As a matter of fact, we church leaders will even complain of their lengthy worship events, mock their new songs, saying they have little or no depth to them. If this young generation were to publicly mock our songs of old, there would be an outrage to say the least!
Many churches will invest into reaching this generation, but when the church invests into “keeping this generation” we will see less young people leaving the church and more of them joining in. They are not interested in membership, they want to play a “valid life changing role” today! They don’t want another teaching on outreach, they want to do it! They want to be in an environment where a God vision is actively being pursued! They don’t want to simply “fill a pew” they want the real thing!
When we change our current life limiting view of their “now” ministry potential and actually believe they can and will make a difference “today,” then will have embraced the words of Joel; 'And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. Joel 2:28-29
When we change our view we will no longer say, “this generation is the church of tomorrow” rather declare, “this generation is the church of today!”