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Friday, March 22, 2013

PW Blog Roundup & Link-Up, Plus Speak Out: Churches Losing our Youth

The re-launching continues! I don't know if I'll do this the same every week, but in addition to linking up your favorite post of the week, I'd love to hear comments back from you regarding young people leaving the church.

Jen Hatmaker posted an article recently about how a conference un-invited her to speak. While, I don't necessarily agree with every single thought she expressed, her post was well-written and just reached out and grabbed me this week for two reasons:

One: Why are we majoring in molehills when the mountains are slipping through our fingers? In her case, it was partly because of a joke about alcohol. But, that's not the only molehill around.

I understand the need for solid Bible scholarship, and I'm a bit of a Bible nerd myself. But, I see people debating and dissecting minutiae, tearing others down over it, and I'm broken for us that we're distracted from what really matters. (God, please forgive me for every single time I've done this myself.)

I feel like we're too busy keeping the house in order that we're not sitting at the feet of Jesus, nor following Him into our broken worlds, nor even engaging the brokenness right there in our own midst. We wound and then we bleed as our young people leave.

I fear that we turn so many people away when we turn on each other. (Ann Voskamp has a beautiful post about that, if you have time to click over.)

But, that's only part of why I'm broken. It goes much deeper and hurts right there in the middle of my heart.

I'm broken because it's MY son in danger of being lost, and I'm grieved to my core over it. Before, it was all just a sad statistic. But now that it's my statistic, I take it very personally.

I have some thoughts on that and the why's, but I'll leave that for another time. Let's just say that leaving a thriving church in a familiar culture and moving to a smaller church in need of revitalization has cost us in a way we did not foresee. For now, I'm praying and working on where to get him involved so that he's not lost altogether. I'd also like to hear back from you.

Sunday Women put a thoughtful post up this week on helping youth find a place to serve in church. (A real place, not just filling grunt work roles.) I think that's part of it. No doubt our churches need to help our teens identify their gifts and learn to minister in their sweet spots.

But what else?

Some more food for thought:

I went searching the web for an article I found several years ago and finally found it:

Almost Christian

In the process, I also found this:

Sticky Faith

As you have time this week or weekend, please read and ponder. Our link up this week is not limited to this topic, but if you blog about young people leaving the church or successes your church has had in slowing the flow, please let me know in the comments as well.

Now, in case I've confused you with too many words, please link up your favorite post(s) from this month. Since it's been a while and we're still a pretty small community, feel free to link up a few. And if you have something to say about young people leaving the church, please speak out in the comments --> (comments). 


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