At an early age, most of us went to a “kids program” on Sunday mornings. Next we would proceed through the Jr. High, Sr. High and College programs. All of which were geared specifically towards our age range. These programs are important and necessary. Especially when you consider the statistics showing how we are losing most students around the time of their high school/college transition. (David Barna’s books UnChristian and You Lost Me are both great reads on this.) We need to cater to the individuals we don’t want to lose or in some cases have already lost and are trying to get back.
The problem arises when those individuals coast through all of the catered programs and then are cast into a pool of people of all different ages. All of a sudden, the service isn’t catered soley to their lifestyle anymore. This creates a pretty ironic double-standard. The younger crowd wants a service geared towards them, saying the older members need to adapt to changes. When really, its the younger crowd that needs to adapt to the general consensus.
This is where we need to teach our high school and college students and bring them to a level of spiritual maturity where they understand how this works. It is hard to learn that the church doesn’t exist to serve you, but you exist to serve the church. I think we lose young adults when they don’t properly understand this idea. They become frustrated on Sunday mornings when the service isn’t “hip” enough and they leave for a different church down the road. The danger in doing that, is you limit the ways God can speak to you. We begin to think that God can’t speak to us through a song written in 1990. If you show up Sunday morning as a critic and not a supporting participator, you have things backwards!
This post is about young adults making a healthy transition, but in reality it’s a question that people of all ages need to answer for themselves: Do I believe in a self-serving church or a church with an others first mentality?
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