Friday, March 11, 2011

A Lost Generation?

Today I was working on delinquent letters, not a very encouraging and uplifting experience.  My church, while smaller on Sunday morning than a decade prior, still resonates with the sound of children, so calls for its demise  remain premature.  Nevertheless, tracking down the 20 and 30-somethings who have quietly drifted from the scene demoralizes you and you begin to ask yourself:  Are we losing a generation?  A question which caused me to google my frustration looking for answers.  Lo and behold I found an insightful article in Christianity Today from November 2010 entitled "The Leavers: Young Doubters Exit the Church."  Author Drew Dyck offers a reasoned and balanced examination of the situation that is worth reading.  He does not present a 'magic bullet' to solve the problem or present a shallow hope filled with mere wishful thinking.  Knowing we ultimately have no real control on the outside culture, he encourages to take a hard long look at the world inside the church and how we deal with people there.  Truly, the old solutions of presenting more modern music and a more casual atmosphere in the sanctuary offer nothing to stem this tide.  In the end we realize we need to keep proclaiming and preaching and teaching and trust as always in the greater wisdom of God and in his gracious will.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When you lose a generation, you lose the subsequent generations as well. How has the church opposed the culture in the eyes of the youth? Really, it hasn't in so many important ways. The secular world tells our youth to delay marriage, go to college, be "successful". The church weakly tags on "abstain till marriage". That is hardly a robust challenge to the anti-marriage, anti-family position of the world. We don't really encourage young people to get married and start families. It's all about "the community" and "college" etc. When I was a kid, I was taught, "God, Home, Country" in that order. Notice "self" is not in there. Maybe because the self seeking are the least happy.