In a recent study by the Barna Group, Mosaics report there is a separation of faith from their real lives. Faith is believed to be something that the Church reinforces one day a week for a few hours and then it is laid back down in the pew until the same time next week. The church is struggling with shallowness. In You Lost Me David Kinnaman writes “The shallowness equation has two sides. On the one, we find young adults who have only a superficial understanding of faith and of the Bible. The Christianity they believe in is an inch deep. On the other, we find faith communities that convey a lot of information about God rather than discipling young believers to live deeply in the reality of God”.
I have said many times that I’m not interested in making church members, I want disciples. Church members show up every week out of obligation and a sense of duty. Disciples show up because of the relationship to God and each other. I believe the church is one of the few places where people of different ages, experience and lifestyle can get together not only for worship, but for relationships. Remember, one of our new core values is authentic community! Community will certainly take on different meanings as we grow but a part of any relationship has to be communication. Second Chance is a place for speaking and listening. It is a place to ask questions and hear answers, even if the answer is simply “I don’t know”. It is a place where learning takes place not only about the Bible, but about life. It is reported that “Most young Protestants do not recall having a meaningful friendship with an adult through their church, and more than four out of five never had an adult mentor”. How can the church expect to grow disciples if no one is willing to share their faith, journey, lessons learned and life with someone who comes after them? Today I renew my commitment to mentoring and apprenticeship. No matter the path a youth or young adult takes vocationally or personally, there must be an older and wiser person willing to walk the journey with them. Not to scold and chide, but to love and encourage. What would happen if the church peeled back the tamper-resistant safety seal and “made space for imaginative risk taking and creative self-expression” which are hallmarks of Mosaics? There is no easy way to do this work but we can be intentional in giving this next generation a chance and life and faith. Who knows, we might all be changed for the better and expand the kingdom of God.
Prayer: Lord, open our eyes to the holy encounters before us to embrace new relationships for you. May we be strengthened in the work to disciple others, wise enough to speak the truth in love, and patient enough to listen with our hearts to the cries of those we serve. Change us as we change the world. Amen.