Like many posts these days (and over the last few years), Mike is writing about the decline in attendance at church events, especially among young adults. His post is actually a summary of another article.
What’s the problem? Well, Mike summarizes the original author’s points:
- We emphasize decisions not discipleship.
- We have embraced the concept of “market-driven” youth ministry, giving people what they prefer (a road that has no end).
- We bought into the idea that youth should be segregated from the family and the rest of the church.
- We believe that big = effective, and we believe that more programs attended = stronger disciples.
- We’ve created the perfect Christian bubble (that is bound to burst eventually), then we invite people into our Christian subculture, where professionals are responsible to Christianize them.
- We imitated our culture’s most successful gathering places in an effort to be “relevant,” forgetting that none of those are places of transformation.
- We’ve embrace attractional models over missional ones, filling the church and giving us “Sunday experiences” that bear little relation to real life.
I’ll be honest… when I read the list above, I see the same thing: We’re inviting people and attracting people to an event. We’re not inviting people to Jesus, helping them to follow him, and giving them opportunities to learn to serve others together. We think we’re inviting people to follow Jesus, but entertainment will not make a disciple of Jesus… but then neither will a lecture (sermon).
Discipleship is life-on-life work. (And that can’t be programmed…)
I think this is true for teenagers and adults.