Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Church: Are We relevant?

It is amazing to talk to teenagers about faith and what they believe. This generation is much more clued up on what they believe than what we give them credit for.
The problem is that many committed young people(15-35) break away from main stream churches. In recent studies by a Princeton workgroup in Religion working on this subject they were asked why they are not comfortable in these churches. The research was done online and platforms like facebook and other social networks were used. Teens and Young people from all over the world gave their opinion. Six areas of concern were identified and the next stage would be to start conversations about these concerns.
These conversations will take place on the different Social platforms where the people taking part in the conversations will give suggestions to the main stream Church how to overcome these problems. If you are between the age of 15-35 you are welcome to give your opinion on these six areas. If you are older your commentary are also welcome but please state that you are older that this group.  Here is the six areas of concern identified by over 9 000 teens and young adults:
  1. Main stream Churches care more about “their way of believe”(dogma) than people or God.
  2. Main stream Churches are constantly promoting their programs and there is no sense of relationship. There is a need for deep caring relationships and this excludes cell groups following programs.(These relationships is found in Social Networks)
  3. Main stream Churches employ Pastors who are “Managers and CEO’s”  They go where they find Pastors who are real, approachable and involved in everyday life. Pastors who are modelling (and here is that big word again) Relationships outside the church.
  4. Sermons: There is a major need for Biblical teaching where the sermon is at the centre of the event. Although prayer and worship is important they are going to church with their main focus – the Sermon.
  5. 38% of these Young people do not belong to a Church but a community of believers(social network) that download sermons “podcasts”. Usually their focus would be on a series of sermons or a Series on a Bible book.
  6. Main stream Churches is slow when it comes to Technology. Podcast, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other Social networks is where theology are discussed in detail. These platforms are much more open and tolerant. Here they can partake in the discussion as a equal, setting their own pace. Talking and reading about things that is relevant to them.
The issue now is not if they are right or wrong – but how we are going to respond as Church.
Jimi Le Roux pointed out that it is the same conclusions as UnChristian van Barna et al. Thanks Jimi


  1. The issues here is really simple to understand, but to solve it perhaps not so simple! Teenagers today have endless access to information, they live in the peak of the info society, just believe it!

    3C's really what this is about:
    1) Content/teaching will always be king, see point 4 - e.g. Have you read through your Bible this year?
    2) The Context - Is it relevant to me in the 21st century as a young adult in this technology world? Show we the relevance in: wisdom expressed, a happy and meaningful life, dealing with life's challenges(i.e. money...) etc.
    3) Congruence - The coming together of the above two. E.g.Can you see changes in the life's of the people in the church?

  2. Wilhelm Frederik Steynberg Ek dink as die leierskap van die Kerk ophou om die "ledemate" te bind sal die Kerk die wereld omkeer onder die direkte leiding van die Gees van God. Ek glo God is die God van hier en nou en redelik in met die tye, kom ons volg hom net.

  3. I was borne and bread in a main stream church. My family had Preachers from the day they set foot in South Africa. Went to London and to Hill-songs there... and on my return was not satisfied with the old church.
    People have become too used to being OVER stimulated. Spoon fed, and giving the option of debating something. Molding God to fit our lives?
    In my quest to find a church where i am now. I found myself wanting to walk out of services, because it has become a show. Loud music (I’m talking about the volume not the kind of music) and a light show, makes me feel like I’m at a show. And I don’t have a problem with it, it’s just too much. So I ended up in the old mainstream church, where I got a good message. And yes, sometimes I find the worship a bit slow (last week with the youth was fun) I get a good solid message.
    I do not think the church should conform to what youth say. I think people will start to migrate back to the main stream…

    Might just be me...

  4. (I am over 40). My question: What is the definition of "church"? [I think faith versus religion]. My point? The community of people who are in a close relation to Jesus Christ. This community help and love each other. Nothing, but the instructions of the Holy Spirit, is important.

    Any person, 5, 18, 30 or 80 can and should want to live in this community. Is our "church" this community?

  5. Kerk is nie tradisionalisme nie, dis werklik gemeenskap met mede gelowiges, opbou van mekaar, lief he en omgee! Om leiers te he wat werklik 'n pad stap met God en nie voorgee vir mense nie, om God se woord uit te leef en Sy wil te doen. Ons hou kerk by ons huis ook, waar 2 of meer in Sy naam is, daar is HY! Ons het ook gebreek met die tradisionele kerke, nou groei ons eers in 'n verhouding met God. Is nou in 'n klein intieme gemeente wat nie gekoppel is aan 'n denominasie nie, maar wat doen wat God se woord se, Die bybel is ons riglyn en ons kompas, nie mense met oulike idees nie.

  6. Ek is bly om jou terugvoer te kry. Ken jy Frank Viola se Organic Church? Sou graag een of ander tyd met jou Koffie wil drink wat sal graag wil hoor van julle ervarings.