Youth and the Church
The youth are currently in my living room starting their Bible study. The lesson is on taking care of our bodies. As they are discussing the issue, they are eating puppy chow and brownies and drinking Fanta Grape and Mountain Dew soda. Notice any irony? They are so funny to listen to sometimes. Right now they are reading Scripture and they take turns. The group is a mix of Christians as well as youth that have not set foot in a church. One of the latter was reading a verse and starting laughing. She was confused because there is a random “j” at the end of the verse. Her friend looks at it and starts laughing saying, “That’s a reference “j”.” It is so nice to have fresh eyes and ears around to help you see and hear things in a fresh way.
I spent the day preparing for a presentation tonight at a monthly meeting at the church. I was asked to share about the younger generation and today’s church. I prepared a handout that discussed four key words that described what many young adults and youth are searching for in a community of faith. I suggested that we are seeking a community that is relational, experiential, authentic and spiritual. It led to a very interesting hour-long discussion among the group. Understand that my church is a very large, down-town church that has existed for over 150 years. We have several members that seem to have been part of the founding charter group. We also have many new faces as well. Yet we struggle, as do many, to be the community that younger generations are searching for.
To me, however, the most moving part of the dialogue was the admission from two of the older men in the group that they are hungry for these very same things. For just a few moments, we had want in that room what people are seeking – we were real with one another, vulnerable, seeking, and reaching out. It was the very essence of what we were talking about. So many individuals are truly hungry for authenticity. For a safe place to be real and to know they are safe. A place where we can open a vein