Itâ€™s kind of funny as we all sit at our computers, wherever we may be, and discuss something that getâ€™s referred to as the â€œEmerging Churchâ€ or â€œEmerging Churchesâ€, I sometimes wonder what the age cross section of the group of contributors, responders and silent listeners is.Â Could we just be a group of folks in our 60â€™s (a wonderful age with nothing to be ashamed of) or 40â€™s (the group Iâ€™ll join at the end of the year) or 20â€™s (the group that is having to find their own faith) or younger (the group that will carry the cross further into this age than most of the rest of us).
The rethinking, or reclaiming of the faith certainly belongs to people all across this spectrum and likely past the ages Iâ€™ve listed.Â But for this short time, as you read my words, Iâ€™d like to consider the latest generation that is passing though a tough period of their life where they are, in many cases, finding that the faith of their parents just doesnâ€™t cut it for them.
As I shared in a previous post, Iâ€™ve moved on to a new church and am working with this churches new pastor to find how I best fit to serve.Â Iâ€™ve never considered myself someone who would become a youth pastor, but there is a need presented in our church for someone to take the reigns and try to help the younger generation find the way they fit into the faith they are growing into and out of.Â So for now, the pastor and I are working to form our group of youth who are willing to listen to a couple of guys in their late 30â€™s and early 40â€™s.
I may be the only one, but Iâ€™ve really never stopped too long to think about how this â€œEmergingâ€ thing would play a role in my own daughterâ€™s heart.Â She is 12 now and has given herself to God as many church going kids and kids of pastors do.Â But is she any different than I was at the age of 12?Â As I think back, I believe that is about the age my folks stopped attending church on Easter and Christmas.Â That was right around the age that video games and MTV took over my interests.Â So, is my daughter, are these kids in my church seeing Christianity the same way I saw it back then?Â Boring and irrelevant?
A couple weeks ago, my pastor and I took 5 kids from our church to a Dare2Share.org conference called â€œGAMEDAYâ€.Â The kids included my daughter, two sisters who pretty much come to church because they have to, a friend of the sisters and a boy who seems pretty into church himself (he does a great job at running our slides for church service on Sundays).
The eventâ€™s main focus was on helping kids feel confident and unapologetic in sharing their faith with others.Â There were concerts, skits, talks and a service project included in the weekend.Â I think much of it may have been meant for kids further along in their walk than our 5.Â But I could be wrong.Â It seemed to me that the focus of many of the talks was that you should share your faith so your friends donâ€™t go to hell.Â A valid point, but not as valid as kids who may not believe in hell themselves.
So back to my earlier thought as far as how this â€œEmergingâ€ thing plays out to my own daughter.Â How do we see this whole â€œEmergingâ€ thing playing out to all of our kids?Â Are we really taking teens serious in our consideration of the future of the church? Do we approach them differently than the seeker movement has sought to reach them?
I hope to hear your thoughts and to help me in the journey.Â I hope to update you along the way as to how we engage our small group.
May you feel His presenceâ€¦