Monday, October 11, 2010

Why Church?

The American church has many great positives. Church is great for sociality, entertainment, and spiritual growth. Church is a good place to see friends, hang out, see a good concert, experience a great worship service, hear sermons from preachers, discuss godly things with friends, getting fit at the gym (if the church has one), and finding a place to work or volunteer. However, the church has its negatives. Apathy, deception, fraud, sex scandals, splits, betrayals, and misguided intentions can plague churches and destroy them. 

A question many high-school and collegiate students are asking sounds like, Why should I go to church? What point does it have? When they cannot find a suitable and satisfactory answer, they no longer go to church. 

So what is causing this great dropout amongst students from this age range? Why don't the youth of today's America attend church anymore? They claim they don't need to go to church to be "spiritual." They think they can worship God and not have a church home, which, in essence, is true. But not for teenagers in America who have at least church every city block. There are many churches in America who are living for God, though not as many as in other countries, such as Russia or China. This, however, is another matter.

Perhaps youth do not attend church because they have found it to be a bland experience of God. Perhaps the church or churches they have attended in the past weren't part of the true Church, and their impressions of God and Jesus have been morphed as a result. I know many young adults or teenagers who dislike church is because a previous one mistreated them or didn't meet their expectations.

It is easy to blame the church leaders for these blunders. But this is not a new problem. It is a centuries old dilemma. The modern day church leaders have just inherited an ancient evil. This evil was described in the first paragraph. It is human nature to fall into sinful traps, so we must not blame church leaders. Nor must we blame the youth, for they can only live as they have been taught, or as they desire. We must not even look for a place to place blame. Why? Because that isn't what Jesus wanted. Jesus wanted His followers to tell every country, every person about Him. So we must not fret or place blame concerning the dropout of youths. We must focus solely on ministering to them, loving them, and making sure they knew the truth about Jesus. We must make sure to give them a reason to come to church. We must make church relevant, addressing the needs of today's society, and doing what we can to love and teach the youth of today's America.


Sophie said...

What do you mean by, "we must make the church relevant?"
What do you consider the purpose of the church? We shouldn't be going to church merely because it is fun, because the pastor keeps you on the edge of your seat, or because you have friends there.
One, we are commanded to gather together (Heb.10:24-25). Two, the body of believers is where we are to be kept accountable and edify one another. Three, we are to use our spiritual gifts in the church (so, we are to SERVE, not be served) for the edifying of the body of believers.
The reason for young people to come to church needs to be that the TRUTH is there, not that it is entertaining and relevant. God and the message of salvation is always relevant.
The youth of America are not going to church because they have not really grasped the Truth of the Bible and how it changes every part of your life. They see hypocrisy in the Christians they know, who are Christians at church and like the world the rest of the time. They don't think it's worth playing the game. They must be taught the truth, not that they are okay, that they can't help their apathy and their sin.

LoVizzle said...

On September 26th, as I sat relaxing in my cabin high in the Smokey mountains, I tuned into Gatlinburg and Sevierville churches on TV. I decided to watch a Baptist church. As the choir stood to lead worship, I studied the church building, pastor, music minister, and audience. It was a very traditional church, complete with rustic pews, unfashionable choir robes, a music minister with a deep voice and slicked-back hair. The pastor said the words, but seemed to be thinking of other matters. Everyone was stoic, as if they were a well oiled machine who met regularly to do the same things. It looked like this particular congregation forgot what year they were in. I couldn't help but think of the 1800s.

This is what I meant by "relevant." I never said we must make church entertaining. What I meant is that teenagers live in the 21st century, go to school in the 21st century, and hang out in the 21st century. So why is church still in the 20th and 19th century? Church is supposed to (literally) be a giant family of Christian brethren who gather to learn about God and praise God and work for God. Somehow, this description is far from what America's church is today. In 2010, America's church is more like a Christian factory, a well oiled machine that produces good and morale people, who try to climb the corporate ministry ladder.

I am saying that youth must be the first priority of evangelism for the church. If you reach tomorrow's generation today, then the results could be stupendous! And yet, churches seemed to be more focused on meeting their quarterly intake or keeping attendance up or pleasing the audience.

Sophie said...

I think I understand better what you mean. Thanks for clarifying. Blessings!