BETHEL IS GROWING YOUNG
If you have been in church the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard me encourage everyone to take the Growing Young survey. It is part of a larger Growing Young initiative we are undertaking at Bethel, and I believe it is vitally important.
What is Growing Young? It is an attempt to connect the younger generation to the church. Think of the church as a train, with each car in the “church train” being made up of one generation. The train is not complete unless all the generations are represented. The most tenuous link in this train is the one connecting the very last car—the younger generation.
The younger generation has always been a special concern of older Christians. Parents in every century have suffered angst praying that their children would embrace the faith. But statistic suggest that the need to reach the younger generation is especially urgent today. More than at other times, our younger generation is at risk of decoupling from the faith train.
The good news is that there is a solution. The staff at Fuller Youth Institute, who are behind the larger Growing Young effort, have walked with young adults to learn what they need. Their research suggests that there are six things required to reach today’s young adults: They need to feel understood, valued, and loved. They need to be challenged by an authentic Gospel. They need to see their church caring for their broader community. And they need to be given leadership opportunities in the church.
We believe that Bethel does some of these things well, and some not so well. The survey will help us to see which is which. This is the first step in our Growing Young journey—to know how we have to grow, we have to start by taking an honest look at ourselves.
If you have any questions about the Growing Young effort, you can talk to one of the team members: Kayla Mast, Stephanie Stoklosa, Jason Wisselink, Thelme VanHeerden, Wendy Werkman, Melanie Wright, or myself. If you haven’t taken the survey, you can do so at the following link. http://www.oursurvey.church/BethelCommunityChurchEdmonton. (It only takes 10 minutes.)
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