When asked what they think about ‘Church’, the word that will immediately come into the mind of a new generation is ‘irrelevant’. This has led some older Christians to lament these ‘young people’ who, they believe, have rejected God. But I completely disagree. This generation is probably more spiritually open than any generation that has gone before them. It’s not that they’ve turned their backs on God. It’s that they can’t meaningfully engage with a Church that doesn’t connect with their lives. I don’t blame them.
A recent survey has shown that 70% of young adults actually believe in God.
One of the things that I absolutely love about the Junction Church is that it is fresh & young at heart. The energy, passion & verve of our Sunday services is something that needs to be experienced rather than explained. We are packed with loads of people spanning different generations, each of which are committed to following Jesus in 21st century life. It’s just awesome to see it. What really encourages me about our church is the number of young adults who are part of it. We are a better church because of them.
Truth is, the majority of churches tend to be made up of an older generation of faithful & committed members who have been serving for many years. Yet as honourable as this is, the vibrancy & freshness of youth is badly missing & sometimes even resisted.
Someone recently asked me why I thought so many young adults were actively involved in the Junction Church. Personally, I think it has something to do with the fact that we are totally intentional about championing their generation – but not in a condescending or patronising kind of way. We genuinely believe they have a lot to offer. So we involve them.
As a pastor, I totally recognise that I have so much to learn from this generation. I’m actually a better guy for being around them. They inspire and challenge me. Their outlook on life and understanding of the world is as insightful to me as it is intriguing. They have challenges and struggles which are different to what I knew. They keep me fresh. They keep me young at heart. They laugh at my jokes (ok, they’re just being polite….but still…).
Too often, the Church in the UK wants to reach a new generation yet expects them to conform to ways of doing things that are stuck back in the 1800’s. Much of these traditions aren’t even mentioned in the Bible!
Think about Jesus. He was totally relevant to people’s lives. He looked like them. He talked like them. He lived like them. He wasn’t distant or aloof. He hung out with the sinners. People wanted to be around him. HE is our example. This is how his Church should be too.
I reckon it’s high time for Church to change so it’s far more like it’s founder – Jesus. Church GB needs to transform how we do things so we connect with the lives of an amazing & brilliantly creative generation who are longing to live for a cause that’s bigger than themselves.
Dog collars are OUT. Ripped skinny jeans are IN. Let the revolution begin!!