Long, late night conversations around the kitchen island.
We did this frequently. Sometimes it was just recapping the day, sometimes it was boys, dating and that whole mess, other times it was our shared passion for the future of the church.
But one of those late night conversations sparked an idea…
Heather was living with Merlyn and I last summer during her internship at Cross Point. (Btw, it’s the craziest thing to have a 20 year old living in your home and trying to figure out whether to be a parent or a friend. I suspect I was a little of both.)
If you haven’t met Heather yet, you will soon. This girl is a dreamer. She’s not afraid of dreaming audacious dreams but more than that she’s not afraid to actually make them happen. She has a way… a tenacity about her that is both inspiring and scary in all the right ways.
This summer Heather and Taylor (another intern from Cross Point’s Summer 2013 crop) are embarking on an adventure.
Hear what Heather has to share about her love for the church, her generation and her Summer 2014 project:
Just like the majority of pastor’s kids, I was raised by the church. I was taught by it, I was hurt by it, I was cared for by it, I was betrayed by it, I was loved by it. Unlike many pastor’s kids, though, my journey doesn’t stop there. I’m not finished with the church. I’ve seen the damage it can do, but I’ve also seen the life it can create, and I see the latter happening far more often than the former, despite what media and society tells us. The church is one of my biggest passions, not only for how much good I see in it, but for how much potential I believe it has. As a church we have done a lot of really great work, but if we are going to bring “up there down here”, we have a lot of work to do and we need to be working harder than ever to do so.
As a 21-year-old college student, I look around at my classmates and those in my generation and see so much potential for change in the church, but a lack of knowledge as to how to take advantage of that potential. According to a study done by the Barna Group, six out of ten 20-somethings who were “spiritually active” in their teens stop going to church in their 20′s. They found that “only one-fifth of 20-somethings (20%) have maintained a level of spiritual activity consistent with their high school experiences.” As David Kinnamen says, “You’ve lost us”. This generation is driven. We are motivated. We want to be challenged. We are searching for answers that aren’t as black and white as “yes” or “no”. We are a generation of world-changers, and yet there are relatively so few left of us in the church.
My point is not to criticize our churches because that has been done before and, quite frankly, I don’t think it does anything. Rather, I want to share with you a journey I am embarking on with the goal of sharing with the world all the good the church is doing in decreasing those sobering statistics and reaching out to what has been called the “Invisible Generation”.
In a little over a month, I, along with my friend, Taylor, will be touring the country and visiting over 20 different churches to explore how they are effectively reaching out to the 20-something generation. Through research we’ve conducted over the past nine months we’ve discovered several common themes that our generation seems to really be seeking out, and we are excited to see what those churches are doing with them! Throughout the summer we will be posting videos, pictures, and blog posts and we would love for you to join us as we explore how the church is reaching a generation no one seems to be able to figure out how to reach.
Will you join me in praying for them, encouraging them and then listening to them as the help us understand how to reach the 20-something generation?