I’m paraphrasing what Andy Stanley said to a room full of church leaders at a conference recently.
Sure, it’s a bit dramatic. And perhaps overly generalizing.
But there is truth in that sentence.
Churches spend a great deal of time and effort in creating a meaningful worship experience. Pastors spend countless hours crafting and preparing a sermon. The choir director spends hours preparing what songs would fit into the worship service. The organist spends hours of practicing. The choir members give their time to make sure practice can get as close to perfect as possible.
And the youth are sitting in the church sitting through all this bored out of their minds, thinking they can’t wait until they can get out of here and/or can’t wait until they get to college so that they’re not dragged along on Sunday mornings.
That was something else Andy Stanley said in the same session. But, I also lived it. I was part of a church where the youth group absolutely hated to go into worship because they didn’t want to sit through “funeral music.”
I was part of a church where youth ministry wasn’t as important in practice as it was spoken. They just wanted to keep the kids out of the adults way. The adults would barge in the middle of youth worship, just so that they can set up for lunch. And they would view our worship as an inconvenience to their setting up for lunch. Feeding the adults were more important than the feeding of the souls of youth through Word and Worship. Yea, the youth ministry was really important to them…
There are countless of places this conversation can go. Worship style. Preference vs. Purpose. What is being relevant?
But, what I want to ask today is have we tried all that we can; exhausted all the possible options we can come up with to make worship relevant to this generation, all the while maintaining our identity in Christ? Or, do we dig our heels into the ground and say, “This is what we’ve done for years, and what we prefer” and threaten to leave the church if it’s no longer the church that we have become accustomed to?
Summarizing his final point, when young people decide to leave the church, it should be because of a personal choice they made through experiences and personal revelation.
They shouldn’t leave their because the local church chose to invest all their resources in keeping yesterday’s generation of Christians happy and pleased.
What do you think?