Monday, May 24, 2010

Wake Up And Smell The Coffee

One old wives' tale told children not to swallow their gum, because it would take seven years to digest. It doesn't. Another warned, "Don't pluck a grey hair or two more will grow in its place." A hair follicle can't reproduce exponentially. Most in the middle ages believed you should not sail far from shore, because, since the world was flat, you would sail off the end of the earth. It's not flat. You can't sail off the end of the earth.

For the next few blogs, I'm going to write about some of the myths we live by. Mostly this will have to do with myths the church lives (and dies) by. I'll be writing to try to debunk the myths; hence the name, Wake Up And Smell The Coffee.

First myth, "Young adults go back to church when they have kids. The desire to have their children in church draws them back into fellowship." This is a myth. It is simply not true. The Starbucks generation is not returning to church. Only 17% of young adults say that having children has encouraged them to return to church.

Bottom line - if young adults are not connected to the church in a meaningful way by the time they graduate from High School, the chances that they will ever be back are about 1 in 10. What's the solution? Hundreds of theologians, pastors, and others are praying, studying, writing and thinking about this. Think about this, though.

Most kids are not members of their church because they have chosen it. They are there because their parents have chosen it. Maybe we should spend time talking to Jr. High and High School kids about making their own commitment to Christ and their local church. We could take a two-fold approach.

First, do a better job of training our children to serve and build others rather than making all ministry about them. The best way the church can help this is by helping parents train their own children to be servants, leading by exmple, doing family mission trips, family work days at church and in the community.

Second, do a better job being attentive to the needs of families. While young parents may be far too busy with things that are of little eternal importance, they do still have to live, work, and raise their children in a world that is full of things that wear them out. Church should be a place that encourages and equips them, not a place that contributes to a culture of busyness that saps the soul and leads to the downfall of families.

Regardless, we better wake up and smell the coffee.


Randy said...

Did you say coffee! I think you hit the nail on the head when you say, "The best way the church can help this is by helping parents train their own children..."

SelahV said...

Cyle, you are spot-on with this post. One of my most fervent prayers is for my grandchildren to love the "Lord", to "grow" more in love with Him and to understand Who He is to them and how He wants to personally be involved in each of their lives. I so long for churches to reach out as you suggest here and manifest the character and purpose of our Lord.

Thanks for a great post. I look forward to more coffee with you. selahV