“Many of our churches are producing a lot of soft and self-centered Christians. And the young people in our churches are getting the message … Churches that are outwardly focused are sending a different message … That is the irony of the essential church. The outwardly focused church creates better inwardly focused assimilation. As our young people meet the needs of others, they see that they are important to the life of the church, and thus, they are prone not to enter the ranks of the dechurched.”
I don’t know who said this – but I wish I had and I believe it is absolutely true. If we want to keep our young people in the church and actively engaged and not just sitting on their sanctified butts doing nothing we need to show them that we our outward focused and seriously involved in reaching the community and lost souls for Jesus. Otherwise, many of the youth of today will join the ranks of the dechurched.
The decurched are those who have been actively involved in a local church and committed to what was going on in that local expression of the body of Christ but saw that most believers are self-centered and seriously soft spiritually. So, because they were not being challenged and were not being asked to commit to something with purpose and power they simply walked away. They don’t fade away – they make a quality decision based on what they see happening – or more accurately, what they don’t see happening – and walk away often never to return. They see that the church really does not believe what Christians say that they believe and so want nothing to do with what is happening. Does anyone hear the word “hypocrite?”
If we want our churches to attract the youth of today – we need to present a church life that is not self-centered and soft but actively engaged in reaching the lost. The youth need to see that those who say they are believers actually following the Lord and reaching out, as He did – to the disenfranchised and those who are rejected and live without hope. They need to see we actually believe that Jesus is “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” They need to see that we really do believe that “Jesus is the only Way to the Father.” They don’t need to just hear it – they need to see it lived out in the lives of those who are older and supposedly wiser in the things of the Lord.
If those in the Church who are older in the Lord than they are are taking taking seriously the work of the Church to seek and save the lost then they will soon be in the ranks of the dechurched and lost forever to the family of God.
As someone called to work with this age group – 18 to 35 – I know that they will rise to the challenge to win the world for Jesus is they can find more people to disciple, teach, train and equip them. And maybe a few to mentor the leaders that are ready to rise up and lead their peers. It is time for the soft and the self-centered to make some major decisions about their lives and their role in the evangelism of the 6 billion people on the planet who still need to hear about Jesus. The young people are waiting.