The lazy days of Summer will soon be behind us and many of us will be gearing up for Fall programing. Planning a new year of Sunday School, Youth Group, and Catechism can be an exciting mix of nostalgia and future hope. However, there is an increasing dread in many of our churches as they face the reality of declining numbers and general lack of zeal to run programs. If you are among the latter, be encouraged that God is still God and he is faithful even in the midst of cultural shifts like we are currently experiencing.
Historically, the Church of Jesus has always adapted to cultural shifts with new strategies for instructing the next generations in the ways of the Lord. From the tents and fields of the Old Testament, to house-churches of the New Testament, God has always provided. What has not changed, is the core element of our teaching – God’s Word.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8
As we work to make next generation disciples, it is vital that we stand and start from this position. Jesus is Lord and the Church belongs to Jesus! Our strategies must never become anotherÂ rock upon which we stand. Sunday School, Catechism, and Youth Group are great tools, but they’re only tools. If those tools are still working to edify your next generation disciples and glorify Jesus, rejoice and be glad! If they’re not, then it might be time to seek the Lord concerning how your church needs to adapt for a new season.
A conversation is currently growing in our Classis concerning the future of Christian Ed and the local church. If this is a passion area for you, please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org to join in. Our hope is to host a one day (or evening) gathering this Fall for those serving in this area. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and website for more info.