There are some great missional initiatives kicking around. Some are aimed at children and families, some at young people, some at the older generations, some at students.
And yet . . .
One of the most powerful and effective ways to see people come to faith is to not differentiate. What if we didn’t minister to others based on their age group or because we are missing this or that demographic? What if we didn’t hive off men and women into separate “groups” to be targeted based on an agenda to reach their gender?
I see the church most fully alive when we are all there together.
Yes, it does ask some questions about our practice if we consider this fully – but, if the best way to engage with people was what we were doing . . . why isn’t the body of Christ thriving and growing? We can’t just keep doing what we are doing and hope it will somehow “work”.
Weirdly, it does seem as if – when we look at what our own stats keep telling us – we have what we need to make a difference. We just haven’t quite found a way of releasing ever generation, people of all ages to serve and delight in one another.
This stat from the Evangelical Alliance tells us what it is that makes the most difference . . . and that is without the Church making this a priority in the way we do mission!
When asked how they came to faith, 6% sited Alpha, Christianity Explored or similar course; 54% cited growing up in a Christian family or church environment.
21st Century Evangelicals, Research by Evangelical Alliance (2012)
How might we better encourage parents and families to live and share faith with their children?
How might we consider our church environment – is it a place where all can flourish regardless of age or gender?
What does it look like for us, in our context, to be the people of God together?
54% just through being the church together and engaged parents passing on faith. How could we enable and equip our own church to be inter-generational about mission with people?