Just finished a very refreshing book, Emerging Worship: Creating Worship Gatherings for New Generations, by Dan Kimball. Dan is the lead pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California.
If you are a pastor who is lacking 20 & 30 something's in your church community, this is a must read. It helps shine some light on as to why there is such an age gap in most of the modern church of America and beyond.
Kimball breaks down the emerging generation into 3 groups:
- This is someone who was raised with a basic understanding of God and comes from a Judeo-Christian worldview. This group may have had some "bad" church experiences and have been drawn to a more relevant worship community (including many of the megachurches across America).
- This is an individual who was born and raised "outside of any church influence" and is now heavily influenced by our postmodern culture and values. When they think of church, it usually means either nothing to them or they dislike the overall idea of the church in general. However - this group is very spiritually minded. (This is a GOOD thing! Great opporunity for those churches who desire to intentionally reach unchurched people!)
- This is someone who grew up in a "modern evangelical church" and left dissatisfied with the way most churches function - "with their emphasis on the big weekend worship service being the "church".
Kimball writes, "A rising percentage of younger people are not drawn to the megachurch philosophy or to the church structures and values that they grew up in (even in smaller churches). They desire to experience a different kind of church and different kind of Christianity than they grew up with."
For me personally, this book has confirmed and challenged much of my thinking in regards to our emerging culture and how/what it is going to take to effectively BE the church. It has energized and excited me. And, it's helped me realize that I'm not too crazy afterall. Ok, maybe a little crazy... You get the point.
Order it here.