When speaking to gatherings of congregational leaders, one of the most common frustrations voiced is an inability to keep the "young people" engaged in the church.
One of the issues might be the gulf between how different generations profess belief in Christ.
As a mum of teens and tweens myself (four of them!) I am keenly interested in this subject, and frequently challenged by my kids about generational "church-speak."
As an example, I share something written by a teen to profess his belief in Christ to back up an assertion he made about a controversial issue:
"Yes,>> >>as a matter of fact I AM a...>> >>Wideyed Sanctified >> >>blood bought spirit taught>> >>Bible totin' scripture quotin' Satan bashin' sin trashin' Christ>>followin`>> >Pride swallowin hard prayin' truth conveyin' >> >>faith walkin' gospel talkin'>> >>BONAFIDE BIG TIME BELIEVER>> >>And proud of it!!!" (original source not cited in post)
Compare these words with the form of language used in worship to profess faith--words which speak to my soul at a deep and resonating level. I see a huge gulf between the two (although a Lenten discipline of "faith walkin' gospel talkin'" has a rather appealing ring to it--even for this boomer mom!)
So friends, what is the way forward? Is it to try and train up the young in "our" ways so that they understand when they hit the tween and teen years, or is it beginning to reach out, understand, and listen to these meaning-seeking kids and help them to develop and grow in Christ through worship in ways that touch their soul at that deep and resonating level. If it is the latter, are we ready to facilitate that process?