I am now reading a book titled: “The Post Church Christian.”
This book is written by Paul and Carson Nyquist. Carson is a pastor and he is part of the millennial generation (born between 1982 and 2000). Paul was a pastor and is now the president of Moody Bible Institute. Paul is a baby boomer and they both are writing about generational differences. Both have theological degrees.
On page 25 of my Kindle edition Carson writes:
“Contrary to common thinking, a shallow version of Christianity is not compelling, relevant, or attractive to us. In fact, it’s the thing that often drives us away from the church.”
That is an interesting quote. I have heard Barna statistics that show when the unchurched come to church they expect a sermon. My own analysis shows that when the younger generation comes to church they want something. They want depth and challenged or they don’t come. They no longer attend out of expectations.
Carson also writes:
“When you’re drowning in a culture of Christianity [Bible belt] that approves of everyone, people will look for more. Why? Because cheap Christianity, with low expectations, is virtually meaningless. I would argue our generation desires a significant faith. We want a Sunday morning message to challenge us to something deeper than tutoring a student or cleaning up a neighborhood.” He continues to say that those are good things but we need connected to God.
He also writes: “Hearing a message on the nature, character, and power of God inspires us. We want to be challenged to love the unlovely, share our possessions with the poor, or give our lives to something that matters. This is what inspires our generation. We don’t want a watered-down version of God’s Word. We don’t accept a three-point checklist to complete this week. Token Christianity has nothing to do with following Jesus.”
As I personally read and listen to people like Francis Chan, Mark Driscoll and others this seems to be confirmed. Francis Chan challenges Christians to go deeper trusting the Holy Spirit and loving God and people in a crazy way. When challenged, this generation rises to the occasion, when not challenged they see no reason to commit to nothing. (meaning there is nothing of importance to commit to.
When writing about the way things are done because they are always done this way, Carson writes:
Ken and Deborah Lord, pastors and authors, elaborate on this issue: ‘
“What if we older, more established church leaders who hold the authority, property, money, and other church resources were to hunt down eclectic, somewhat ragtag, young women and men, and give our power and stuff to them with the instruction, ‘We choose you because you are not like us. Here is your charge: Go after those who are seeking God. Do not copy our ways. Do not do what we have done. Innovate. Try. Fail. Succeed. Forge a new path. Build new kinds of churches and communities.'”
That is what we must do as we have lost this generation.
Watch this video:
Andy Stanley’s church’s website under leaders on the right:
Two other great books: “Deep and Wide” by Andy Stanley and Visioneering by Andy Stanley.
have a blessed week!
I wonder what would happen if pastors and church leaders took this to heart like Ken and Deborah suggest and turned over the “keys” to younger pastors. I wonder what the church would look like and become. The idea of reaching the younger generations with the power of the Gospel is a very exciting idea to me!
I will say that I am not part of that millenial generation as I’m a bit older than that, but, I have a passion to see young people know Christ and live as His disciples. I don’t think it necessarily takes all of the “older” people turning over the keys as much as it requires the authentic, “all-in” mentality that Jesus was asking of His disciples both when He was walking the earth and now. If each of us are truly committed to living out our discipleship and we truly want others to know Jesus, that faith will impact those around us. The book of Acts, is a great example of that truth.