Saving the Next Generation


I just watched a video that showed how 70% of kids in church will leave the church.  It's a great tragedy. There is another push called >4% that aims to make sure we don't fall to less than 4% Christians in this country. I have seen statistics about how each generation is less and less Christian. I don't remember the precise statistics, and it's not worth the effort to look them up, but people talk about "the greatest generation" (the one that won WWII) and how they were 70 or 80% Christian. Then the "Baby boomers" (the 1950s and 60s kids) were 50% or less Christian. And finally, the current generation is 10 or 20% Christian and dwindling

When these statistics are quoted, too often the emphasis is on the later generations, and how they aren't getting it. I think the emphasis is wrong. I have seen efforts to give better information, better discipleship, or better something. But all of those will ultimately fail, because they miss the root problem. The current Church (including the past few generations) rarely preaches the grace of Christ. It has preached Jesus for salvation, and then a life of joyless law. Try harder, work harder. That is the death of the Church. The younger generation is not leaving the Church because they are all bad or uninformed. They are leaving the Church because they don't see Jesus.

We are trying to attract them back with "hipster Church", and lights, and candles, and contemplative services. We give stuff away, we use video streaming, Facebook, and Instagram, yet the youth keep walking. They don't want that junk. They can get it in the secular world at a lower price. They want Jesus. They want grace. They want the love of Christ, not our generations of rules and traditions. They want to see the Spirit work in mighty ways. They want what Jesus brings, not what our traditions bring.

I listen to all sorts of pastors on the radio, and most of them talk about the same old stuff. They spend way more time talking about how hard I need to try, and very little time telling about what Christ has done, and will do through me. There are a few good teachers and preachers out there, but you have to look for them.

If we want to reach the next generation, and truly change the world, we need to stop being a religion, and start becoming Christ to the world. When they see Christ in us, they will want it, and they will come running.

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