Here in Orange County, it seems like the young people who do go to church, the majority seem to attend a non-denominational church. It was like that in Hawaii also.
And I’m beginning to wonder why that may be.
I had an opportunity to talk to 2 pastors from Rock Harbor, a mega-non denominational church a couple of miles away from us. I also had a chance to talk to a couple of youth pastors from Calvary Chapel.
The two things that they had in common were emphasis on reading the Bible and praying.
From the UMC youth pastors I’ve met so far in the Orange County, majority of them put their emphasis in community service and fellowship.
For me, I think the non-denominational pastors I’ve talked to are making a valid point.
If we don’t, as a church, put emphasis on scripture, worship and prayer, how are we different from the local boys and girls club or the YMCA?
Last year, we had a UMC youth workers round table discussion. Someone asked, “what is this generation yearning for?” and many answered that the young people were looking ways to be involved in social justice.
That’s great! But I think many of us tend to make a fatal mistake: that loving neighbors will lead to loving God. It doesn’t often work that way. Loving God will lead to loving neighbor, but not the other way around. As Doug Fields writes “Faithfulness to the second [ greatest commandment] doesn’t necessarily lead to authenticity in the first.”
Maybe I am off-base.
What say you?