Where Oh Where Can They Be?????

So I had a visit to Hillsongs Church in Century City on Sunday, to see what is happening there and yes to worship God (just in case you think I am a heathen haha). I was pretty amazed and experienced a bit of a culture shock coming from a traditional Baptist church in a poor and crime ridden “coloured” area. Wow! I felt like I stepped into alternate universe. It was all pretty amazing.

 

Part of my reason was why are we (Baptist churches in this case) losing so many young people and young adults to the independent Christian churches and centres. It is always awesome to see the younger generations active in worship and committing their lives to Christ and I would have it at any church that preaches and practices the unadulterated Gospel message. But in relation to where I am I have to ask the question, are we doing anything wrong (and there are many things)? Or are they doing something right (and I saw plenty of things that made me understand what is so appealing)? And while I don’t want this to seem like an us versus them battle, for effective and relevant ministry these are questions one has to ask (I believe).

 

How can we (as Baptists) meet the needs of young people and not see the mass exodus from our churches? What are the questions that young people are asking that we are not even hearing (or are willing to hear)?

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2 thoughts on “Where Oh Where Can They Be?????

  1. I feel you on this… but I dont think its meant to be a one man battle when you’re in a Baptist church, but most times it is. And thats why implementing a new vision or way forward for your church , almost always fails, because of that lack of support, and joint vision.
    People dont have a problem with change or adapting to a new way, they have a problem implementing this change. We have become lazy in our actions, its too much effort, too much maintenance, too time consuming.
    Thats why we have new visions all the time, but very little results…hence why us as Baptists stagnate, because sticking to what we know, is safe, and proves at least we are still doing something as a church…..so poor.
    We play it safe, we are all occupying a huge piece of land ripe for picking, but we’re choosing to blend in with the crowd, and maybe one or two tries to stand out from the crowd.
    But what these independent churches are doing, is avoiding crowds completely… They’ve chosen another spot, a spot not based on tradition or past success ,no,they build on this new spot with that excitement of “this is our opportunity to be effective, with no limits or boundaries, we can use any tool available out there, possibilities are endless”…
    As Baptists we say ” Sorry congregation, our constitution says, blah blah blah…….ignore these churches,let them continue,stop trying to think that way… who says the world is going digital? Who says branding is important? They are being silly preaching that relationships and mentorship programmes are important to youth, just slap them with a bible, thats how we did it in the old days!, silly young people with their trivial ideas”.
    Maybe it is not all churches having that mentality, but if you are instructed to follow a way of ministering with no flexibility, then people are going to rebel.
    New inventions were not born out of happy moments , more out of anger,frustration or a need, Henry Ford never invented the car so there would be a car, he did it because HE wanted freedom, the freedom to come and go as he pleases, to any place he wanted to….

    …… so I would respond with saying “when oh when will these old minds leave”.

  2. wow! Well I’m definitely not alone on this one hey but i don’t want to throw the baby out with the water. I don’t think it’s the implementation of change that is the problem but change itself is the problem. People love traditions and while they do have the tendency to become legalistic i do think we need structure to guide and to protect.

    The problem is, as a Dr at the seminary said do we use form to meet the meaning or do the form itself become the meaning in the end?” in other words the form, the system, the structure, the traditions become more important than why it was implemented in the first place. It is to know when that form has to change so that the meaning may continue. In many Baptist churches that is where the problem is. We don’t want to change the system because the system has become the gospel and through that mentality we lose many people.

    So i don’t think by getting rid of people we solve the problem it’s only through dialogue that we can asses structure and meaning and pray to God above that they May embrace change not just for the sake of the current generation but also of those to follow.

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