Generation Gaps (or lapse) in Church

churchbldg1I came across an interesting read on Facebook that has been passed around in CBF land. It’s worth considering and a good message for Baptists of all ages. I think this is particularly meaningful for our own congregation as we seek to connect with persons from different generations.

One of the enduring questions I get is “how do we reach more young people?” This comes from genuinely concerned church members who brought me and my family to Springfield partially to address this challenge. I suspect that most churches are wrestling with their own mortality and searching for ways to pass the baton of spiritual leadership to a younger generation. It’s an ongoing concern, one that doesn’t seem to have an easy or quick solution. 

I’m not convinced that “young people” however you define that term are entirely turned off by being around older adults. I’ve been encouraged by the response I’ve seen when our senior adults take an interest in young couples with children. It’s inaccurate to say that the only meaningful relationships you can have are with those who fit in your own age group and life experiences. Furthermore, I’m not too keen on churches who “target” only one age demographic while ignoring others. I think of that early church in Acts as being diverse in ages and backgrounds, while being a countercultural community of faith.

It’s a challenge doing church these days. A lot has changed through the years, and I’m finding that it is difficult to keep up with them. I don’t think the answer is to be found in the last and latest book on church growth. There is indeed nothing new under the sun, but there is great value in once again going back to the Bible time and again to learn from those first Christians who forged community and genuinely cared for one another.

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