You may have read this study by Barna, but I think it is worth examining again as we try to reverse the tide of the declining effectiveness of our churches on the culture.
We’ve looked at three trends now the fourth.
4. Among Christians, interest in participating in community action is escalating.
Largely driven by the passion and energy of young adults, Christians are more open to and more involved in community service activities than has been true in the recent past. While we remain more self-indulgent than self-sacrificing, the expanded focus on justice and service has struck a chord with many. However, despite the increased emphasis, churches run the risk of watching congregants’ engagement wane unless they embrace a strong spiritual basis for such service. Simply doing good works because it’s the socially esteemed choice of the moment will not produce much staying power.
To facilitate service as a long-term way of living and to provide people with the intrinsic joy of blessing others, churches have a window of opportunity to support such action with biblical perspective. And the more that churches and believers can be recognized as people doing good deeds out of genuine love and compassion, the more appealing the Christian life will be to those who are on the sidelines watching.
Of the six mega trends this one has the potential of really refocusing a church’s ministry in their community. We have a younger generation who do not want to talk about the poor, they desire to feed them. They are not satisfied in seeing our missionary videos; they want to be on mission.
If churches can harness this raw energy and passion in biblical ways it could serve as another means of reaching our communities for Christ. Be careful that this emphasis not just be a social gospel approach but one that meets human needs and the greatest need of humans…salvation as we share the New Testament gospel that changes lives forever.
Every church should have several touches into the life of their communities. There are so many needs in the shadow of our steeples if we will only open our eyes.
Why not get some of your younger members together for a “love our community think tank” on what your church can do to engage your community with the love of Christ.
Jesus helped those who could not help themselves and we must do the same. I would love to hear how your church is engaging your community with the Gospel and random acts of kindness.
Keep the Son in your eyes,