QUESTION #4: How can the church make a difference in the lives of Millennials?
Pastor Isaac Crockett:
“…as a pastor, having worked with children’s ministries, even working as a substitute teacher in the public schools, I see this, and three of the things I thought of that we’re doing, one is children’s ministries. Ministering to children is a priority that in some of our churches gets overlooked and it starts as just babysitting. If a worldview starts being formed at 18 months, that means that in our toddler nurseries, we are seeing their worldview develop. I see children’s ministry as frontline spiritual warfare, and in our churches we need to be growing that and working with that. I have people at my own church often say, ‘I wish the churches I grew up in, I wish that they had ministries like what we have for our children now when I was a kid, because I went to church, I was bored. I stopped going to church because I didn’t understand anything.’
I think we really have to reach children and this even includes in our families. Not only having our time of devotion and as George said, keeping the kids away from bad things, but even opening up our homes to our friends because the friends of our children, and even adoption. My wife was adopted, her dad was adopted, her brother was adopted, her grandmother on the other side of the family had, I think 20 some foster children, so focusing on children and then build a community relationships.
In George’s book, “What American’s Believe,” George, I think this was published in 1991 I think but one of the things I thought I had highlighted in there was that you wrote, “Relationships outside of family ties are also of major importance to ta majority of adults.” There so many unchurched people in our communities that George, I think you’ve use the word “de-churched” to refer to many of them. Many of them used to go to church, and we need to build relationships with them and talk to them about spiritual things.
Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Let people know you’re a Christian and build a relationship where you can talk about that. In my own, again, anecdotal experience, I see that inviting people to church when you have that relationship, most of the time, they’ll come. Most of the time they’ll talk about these things. Kind of along that line, the third one is using our social media in a way to really shine our light. To teach a biblical worldview. I’ve had people from our community who I didn’t even know at all that have contacted me with questions like, “What does the Bible say about homosexual marriages?” “What’s the biblical perspective of immigration?” “What does the Bible teach about Allah? Is he really the same God is a God of the Bible?” I’ll ask these people, I’ll say, “Where did you find out that I would have the worldview on this?” They say, “Oh, well your church is known as the church that believes the Bible, as a church that will teach the Bible.”
I think that some of that comes from our Facebook page. We put articles out there and links to pastor’s sermons, and videos and things. We’ve had Sam come in and speak to us, and to different civil leaders in our communities; and that’s how we’ve become known- through some of our social media- as a church that has a biblical worldview. So, I think we can use that to our advantage to really shine our light out there in social media.”
“…in past programs, we’ve talked about how God works in the culture, and one of the things that we’ve talked about is that he never waits till he has a majority to get his will done. He always uses a remnant, and when I look at the 10% you have a biblical worldview in America, I think that’s the remnant that we’ve got to work with, and so my admonition to that remnant is you can’t put your faith in a closet and simply be proud of it. Look what I figured out. Look what God’s done to me, look what he’s given to me. He’s blessed us so that we can be a blessing, the whole genesis [inaudible 00:06:18] principle. We need to recognize that if for whatever reason God has enabled us and lead us to have a biblical worldview, we have a responsibility now to be warriors of the faith in a culture that is fighting to extinguish the flame of Christianity in America.
We have to take that worldview into every niche, every community, every place that we can. Now, a bunch of us are grandparents, and we have to recognize maybe we have an opportunity to raise our grandchildren to have a biblical worldview. Maybe our kids won’t to do that job, because the pressure against that within their own generation is so great. Grandparents, even if it’s not with your own grandchildren, maybe it’s the friends of your grandchildren. Same kind of principle that Isaac was bringing up, about the importance of opening up the home, the importance of relationships and getting out there so I think that’s key.
The second thing I’d say, is that churches have to re-examine what it is that they’ve been doing. Let’s just be brutally honest for a minute. If we’re in a situation where the churches have opportunity after opportunity for a couple of centuries to raise up people who have a biblical worldview, and we’re at 10%, we have to question whatever strategies and tactics we’ve been using to try to get a biblical worldview in people’s minds and hearts. Our job is to evangelize, to equip, and to encourage. We’ve got to do these things, but we can’t keep doing the same things that aren’t working and expecting that suddenly it’s going to click into place. We need to be more creative and more strategic, and so I’d say, the most important thing I think Isaac brought up is looking at our children as the primary mission field of the church. Not just children in our own homes, children in the entire culture. We have to be investing the bulk of our resources in children.
I study churches. I know that most of a typical church’s budget goes into adults. We can’t continue to do that and make a difference. Let me just finish by saying, we didn’t get into the situation we’re in overnight. This is going to be a multi-generation turnaround process, so each of us who loves Christ and loves America has to recognize this is a long term battle. You better settle in for the long haul.