As a worship pastor, I am saddened to read polls reporting young people leaving our churches. True, this happens in each generation (remember the Boomer-angs who returned to church in the 1990s?), but how can service planners encourage the continued participation of young people within our churches?
One of the regular ways churches respond is to adopt a more contemporary style of music. But if you know two different teenagers, you recognize the disparity of musical preferences among young adults. And if discovering their preferences seems difficult, actually performing that music in church will seem impossible.
Yet I have been surprised by conversations I’ve had with actual students leaving the church. These students were not leaving the church because of outdated aesthetics; it is not that easy. Many of them leave because of disappointment with their local church; they have unmet expectations. And the saddest part is this: often the church is the one creating the very expectations that it cannot meet. We seem to be teaching our people to expect too much — at least in this current age.
Worship in the “Already” and “Not Yet”
As Christians, we live between the two comings of Jesus Christ. That is, we live in the …read more