HARNESSING THE MILLENNIALS
The 21st Century Church is currently home to some of the brightest and most intelligent young people that have ever walked this earth.
They are privy to information and to an education that the Windrush Generation could only dream of, and that’s why it’s beholden upon 21st century church leaders to ensure that they properly nurture, train and equip the youth and young adults in their congregations. If they don’t, they’ll leave the church in far greater numbers than the previous generation did.
When I reflect on my years as a teenager and young adult, and that of my contemporaries, I do believe that churches could have done more to harness the spiritual zeal, physical energy and desire to make a difference in the church and contribute to wider society that most of us possessed.
Instead, many churches seemed content for us to sing in the choir and attend the countless services that made up an annual church calendar.
Whilst we were encouraged to evangelise and be witnesses for Christ, maybe more effort could have been made to incorporate young adults fully into the life of the church beyond serving as youth leaders or choir members.
Instead, those believers who wanted to make a difference and introduce new ways of either doing church, evangelising and reaching the community, often had their ideas shouted down or ignored, causing them to leave the church to set up their own congregations, join a different church or leave organised Christianity altogether.
We can’t allow this to happen with the Millennials. Churches must make it their duty to find ways to fully utilise their skills and talents to help fulfil the Great Commission, to take the Gospel to the four corners of the world and fulfil their life’s purpose. Leaders must listen to the young, take note of their views of doing church in the 21st century, and fully engage them in the life of faith.
We live in a fantastic age, especially with the range of social media platforms available, enabling individuals to reach the four corners of the world via computer, tablet or smartphone.
What this means is that we have the technology to fulfil the Great Commission. In fact, the opportunities to touch the world for Christ is endless… as are the temptations that can draw young people away from the faith. So, with this in mind, let’s do all we can to fully utilise the skills and talents of our youth, so that they get the experience and are fully equipped to take the Church forward, proclaiming the Lord Jesus as they go.
ANSWERING THE CALL TO PRAY
With the spate of negative happenings in the UK – the Manchester Bombing, the terrorist attacks on Westminster and London Bridge, and the Grenfell Tower fire – many Christians are falling to their knees to pray.
Churches, prayer groups and para-church organisations have felt led to focus on praying for the nation and are organising special gatherings to do so.
I must say, in recent months, I have been sensing in my own spirit a call to pray on a deeper level and, when I look up and see what it is happening, I can understand why.
God longs to have a say in human affairs, and desires for His children to be in relationship with Him so that He can love on us, talk to us, guide us, lead us and protect us, as well as inspire us to pray for others.
With this fact in mind, coupled with everything that is going on in our nation, let’s fall in line with God’s call to pray. We know that when we come to God with nothing but a humble heart and a desire to see His will be done, nothing but good can come out of it.
“If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
I’d love to see people develop better relationships across the generations – young, old and middle-aged, sharing friendships and experiences.
I’ve come to this conclusion after speaking to numerous people sharing about difficulties and challenges they’ve experienced in life. Nearly all stated that they might not have made the decisions they made – or did the things they did – if they had received wise counsel, mentoring or wise guidance from an elder beforehand.
The Bible is full of examples, where young and old partnered together for mutual benefit and to fulfil God’s purposes: Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, Naomi and Ruth, Mordecai and Esther. The list could go on.
As believers, there is more that unites us than divides us, so we should look beyond age, and see each other as travellers on this Gospel road, here to help each other, so that we reach our destination with our souls and relationship with Christ intact.