Among many other things, lately my thoughts and dreams have been centered around the transition from High School into the larger body of the Church. This predominately comes from the black hole that seems to exist when students leave their youth groups and the laser focused structure of the youth group model and try to find a spot in the larger body of the church. There is a disconnect between hanging out with friends and worshipping together in a very age-specific culture that does not compute with students when they leave for college or the young adult years and cannot find something that is similar. The reality is that there are many variables here and many things affecting this time in a person's life.
Central to my thoughts are how to remedy the situation. Typically, when there is a shortfall in the church, we create a new program, a new worship service, a new way to try and do church on "their level." We make the messages "more relevant" to that specific age group, we make the worship more "age-appropriate," and we try and make it seem as if there is always something for them to catch that is specific to everyone in the room. But, if this was the remedy that was most effective, wouldn't we be seeing College and Young Adult programs highly attended? Wouldn't movements like Passion be seen in the local church? Wouldn't we see passionate worship in these programs? Wouldn't we see major transformation in these programs?
I'm not here to bash on current programs, emit my skepticism in a condescending forum, or suggest that I am the only holder of the best and most effective program. However, I am most definitely convinced that something needs to change and people's spiritual lives lay in the balance. The reality is true: more and more students leave their youth groups and either turn away and abandon, or seriously neglect their connection to the Body when they leave youth group, yet continue to pursue answers and truth in their lives without the guidance and fellowship of a body of believers.
And so begins this thought process.
What are your thoughts?
What is your church doing right now?
What are some of the reasons that you haven't found yourself plugged into a church?
For what reasons do you wish that you could get more involved?