What causes a generation gap?
Could it be that the older generation tends to want everything to stay the same—same music, same way of doing things, same church service, same church activities. . . . Many churches relegate the young people to their own groups, and their input—whether in music or new ideas or using their talents and gifts—isn’t welcome in the main sanctuary.
Then the church wonders why the youth and young adults are leaving in droves and the church doesn’t grow.
The purpose of worship isn’t solely to focus inward, but outward. We don’t attend church solely for spiritual feeding—although an important aspect—we’re to take what we learn and pass it on to others.
I will utter hidden things, things from of old—things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. – Psalm 78:1-4
If we want to stay relevant in the lives of the next generation in the church, we need to learn how to embrace their style of worship . . . their way of communicating . . . their world. If we want to have an impact in their lives—to help guide them in the ways of righteousness—we need to speak their language, care about the things they care about, and reach out to them in love with a desire to understand what’s important to them.
A church that refuses to include and adapt to the younger generation will soon get smaller and smaller as the older generation goes to be with the Lord. Yes, it may have been more comfortable sticking to the “old way of doing things,” but soon there will be no one left to carry on the legacy of the church.
Church is a spiritual family, and just like our personal families, we welcome the younger members as the family grows and expands from generation to generation.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Alexander Hermansen