What’s next in youth ministry…the church…children’s ministry? I get asked that question often and I think about it constantly. I can’t help it. I was a young leader trapped in churches designed for a past generation for years. When I got to Grace Community I promised myself that I would spend the rest of my ministry trying to push young leaders forward and allow them to influence me and the ministry we craft for students, teens, and adults. After traveling to churches across America I am sure that we are allowing this generation to shape our environments at Grace. I watch young adults, teens, and college students worship right beside parents, business leaders, and grandparents every week and it’s a beautiful thing. If we want our churches to be open to this generation then the church has to continually be turned over to them. It has to be “their place.”
This past weekend I was told about a church in Southern California called Rock Harbor. Doug Fields told me…:you have to see this church” so we went and I am so glad we did. We showed up for the 7 PM service and I’m glad we got there early. I got to watch over 1500 (may have been more) pack the room. The building was well designed but simple in form and function in a business park in Costa Mesa. The stage, projection, and lighting were well designed but simple. The band went for it, the speaker taught a clear and powerful message from scripture, and the people responded to our great God. The room was packed with people 16-30 just going for it. The presence of God was thick and it was the only time I have felt like I was at a Passion event in a church. Rock Harbor is pursuing what is NEXT by empowering this generation to speak into what they do as a church. Will you be willing to do what it takes to create space to reach this generation? I promise some people will not like it but I also promise if you don’t then one of this generation will plant a church next door and do it. We will not wait…the time is now. Next is coming fast, do something.