Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reaching the Next Generation

Any pastor or church member at some time or another has thought about church growth and the future of their particular congregation, especially when the growth is slow or even nonexistent. Kevin DeYoung over at DeYoung, Restless and Reformed shares his thoughts on this issue:
But in my saner moments I’ve come to see two things: One, it’s more my sin that wants success than my sanctification. And two, the secret is that there is no secret. Reaching the next generation—whether they are outside the church or sitting there bored in your church—is easier and harder than you think. It’s easier because you don’t have to get a degree in postmodern literary theory or go to a bunch of stupid movies. You don’t have to say “sweet” or “bling” ” or know what LOL or IMHO means. You don’t have to listen to…well, whatever people listen to these days. You don’t have to be on twitter, watch The Office, or imbibe fancy coffees. You just have to be like Jesus. That’s it. So the easy part is you don’t have to be with it. The hard part is you have to be with Him. If you walk with God and walk with people, you’ll reach the next generation.
What DeYoung reminds us of is that serving God is about faithfulness to what God has called us to be and do in Christ, while trusting that God will fulfill his promises to build his church. But DeYoung does not leave us with a generic "be faithful;" instead, he provides five specific suggestions for us to pursue: Grab them with passion. Win them with love. Hold them with holiness. Challenge them with truth. Amaze them with God.

DeYoung works these five suggestions out in five posts:
Although he directs these suggestions for reaching the "Next Generation," the suggestions are apt for reaching out to persons of all ages. Give them a read if you are looking for some specific ways to be faithful to the calling with which we have been called.

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