Saturday, August 30, 2008

Change, Growth & Christianity

The following is a blog from one of the Pastors at NewSpring Church in South Carolina. (In 10 years, their church has grown from zero to over 9,000 in attendance.) I liked his blog so much I wanted to share it here on my blog and to the leadership Team at Cornerstone. It speaks to where we are right now as a church and the direction we need to head in.

If you come to Cornerstone for services tomorrow, you will notice changes -- literal, physical changes. We realize that we cannot sit still or idly remain on the sideline, but must continue to grow, to change, to push forward -- to reach a new generation for Jesus.

Are You Comfortable in Being Uncomfortable?
By Tony Morgan

Last Sunday at our Greenville campus, we had an older couple, probably in their sixties, accept Christ. That's worth celebrating. I love to watch life change happen.

Here's what's amazing about stories like that. Our services in Greenville aren't designed for people in their sixties. Our services are designed for a much younger audience. It's an audience that loves loud music. They are comfortable with video teaching, because video is already a huge part of their lives. They love the coffeehouse atmosphere.

Here's what we've learned. If we design our service experiences for a younger audience, we're more likely to reach that younger person and we'll also reach older folks. The reverse is not true. If we designed our service experience for an older audience, the younger crowd would not show up.

Now, here's the reality. Most churches in America are designed for an older audience. In fact, the more-seasoned folks in those churches are sitting on committees telling the students and young adults how they can and can't do ministry. The result? Younger people are leaving churches in droves.

Here's what I know to be true. If the church is going to continue to reach the next generations:

* I have to be willing to give leadership to people younger than me...and let them make mistakes.

* I have to be willing to let younger folks lead me in worship...even when it's not my favorite style of music.

* I need to embrace new methods of ministry...even though it makes me uncomfortable.

* I need to pray and encourage and finance the next generation church...and stop trying to make church a place that I like to attend.

It's not about me. It's about the people who desperately need to know the hope, love and forgiveness found only in Jesus Christ.

For the ministry of the local church to remain effective, I need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.


Rebecca said...

Wow! In the past few weeks I believe God has been dealing with me on this subject. As an "older" person it has been hard for me to "change" so that CCC can reach the younger generation. I know they are the church of TODAY and if we want to reach them we do need to change from our old ways and become "hip" in today's Christianity. We do not have to give up the solid Bible Basics as to being a Christian but if we don't change we will lose this generation of young people who are so enticed by media, internet and peers and are seeking for commitment, unity and creativity in all aspects of their lives. It's a different generation and we need to be different to reach them.

Thank you for sharing this article. It spoke volumes to me. - Rebecca

Karlene said...

Let's "Do It!!!" Whatever it takes to reach these children today, I want to see it happen. Living right next to a High School, watching these kids walk to and from school everyday, their eyes are empty, their faces are sad, they walk with empty steps, they're lost, they're lonely and afraid! If it means making changes all the way around (starting with me) to save our Youth, let's "Do It!"