Addressing Changing Ways Young Adults Envision a Biblical Model of Church

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I think this quote from Dan Kimball’s Emerging Worship says it well,

More and more emerging generations who were raised in the church are saying that there must be something more to “church” than what they have experienced. The systems we use to teach them how to be disciples of Jesus are not connected with them like they did for generations past. Emerging generations say it just doesn’t “feel right” or “fit right” anymore. They want to be a disciple of Jesus, but how we approach disciple-making needs to shift right alongside their shifting values.

Emerging generations wonder if what they have been taught about “community” – and what they’ve seen promoted in their churches – is really biblical community at all.

They wonder if what they were taught about evangelism is really the right way to think about, and practice, sharing the gospel of Jesus. They are wondering if being a Christian and being “saved” is more than just saying a prayer to get to heaven. They are asking why the church doesn’t talk more often about the Kingdom of God and why most Christians don’t take interest in social justice.

They wonder why preaching has turned the beautiful and mysterious story of God and man into self-help guru Tony Robbins-like teaching with some Bible verses added. They wonder why their hunger to discover and wrestle with the deeper depths of Scripture is fed with neatly packaged versions of how-to messages and pat Bible answers…(Emerging Worship, xii)

I am refreshed to see this play out in real life as I have come to know many young adults who want to get more serious about their faith than being spoon fed the gospel in weekly doses. Many churches are going to run into serious cultural and generational backlash if they aren’t prepared to flex with younger generations in areas that can be flexed in all the while remaining firm in the areas that we must remain firm in. The problems arise in who decides what is flexible and what is firm. My prayer is that elders and ministers around the country will deal with young adults prayerfully and considerately as these young people grow into their own faith that may have many of the same core beliefs as their predecessors but may express itself in very different ways than previous generations.

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