Hello YAR internet community,
A quick plug for “BikeMovement the Documentary — A young adult perspective on church” that will premiere at San Jose 2007 Mennonite convention and be available for sale on-line in about a week. For those of you who don’t know, BikeMovement was a group of young adults who biked across the United States last summer talking about young adults and church. (BikeMovement involves more then just this, including a recent biking trip through Asia, but for the purpose of this post, I’ll focus on young adults and church in North America.)
BikeMovement has been asked to share 5-7 minutes during the delegate session on the topic, “What are hopes and dreams of young adults for the future church.” While we’ve conversed with young adults all across the country, finding an answer to that question is a rather daunting task since it sometimes feels like we are all over the board on that question.
So I pose the question to the YAR readers out there:
What is your visions and hopes for the future church?
If you are uncomfortable with the word “church” because of baggage associated with that word, substitute church for a community of people seeking to follow Christ in our 21st century context.
Do you think the majority of young adults (who are seeking to follow Christ in our North American context) share this same vision? What would you put as overarching dreams of young adults?
While it’s an impossible task to speak for all young adults, here are a couple of scattered themes we have heard to get you thinking:
- All community members valued regardless of age/race/sex.
- Real — community that meets people where they are, and addresses real issues in our lives.
- Vulnerability — to be real there needs to be a mutual sharing of who we really are, and real struggles and to support each other in that fashion
- Accountability — a community of believers to hold us to our values
- Church is a safe place — We do not have everything figured, and we can be vulnerable and receive grace. It should also be safe to ask hard questions even if they challenge traditional beliefs held by the community
- Emphasize buildings and Sunday morning worship less and work at focus more on touching every aspect of our lives.
- Less divisions between denominations and in churches — focus on common values and beliefs and a respect for differences
- Reaching others — I’ll avoid the word evangelism because of the baggage associated with that word, but a way to respectfully share Christ’s love with others. I’ve seen the most diversity of opinion on this topic, some young adults are fairly passionate that we need to share our faith, while others, perhaps uncomfortable with the imposing way we’ve historically done this, seek to emphasis more of a mutual learning process where the “Christian” should be just as willing to learn from and respect the beliefs of someone who believes differently.
- IS THIS THE WRONG QUESTION? A friend of mine challenged me to ask “Shouldn’t we be trying to figure out Christ’s hopes and dreams for the church instead of ours?” Shouldn’t we be willing to scrape our plans and instead follow God’s?
So this is a quick list of points that I’ve heard. What would you add what would subtract? Why?