Recently we had an entry about Rob Bell and his church that’s attracting mostly twentysomethings. Many of the comments focused on demographic strategies, and whether or not churches should target specific demographics to the exclusion of others.
It’s a good debate, but personally I’ve always felt that the church should be packed with diversity. That diversity should include race, gender, age, economic position, social status, political leaning, denominational bent, theological position, etc.
Mike Breaux of Willow Creek shares his multi-generational strategy that involves applying a youth group mindset to the entire church (he calls it “youth ministry for big people”). I’m not suggesting youth ministry is king, but the idea of doing something radical to get radical results is cool:
Fannie Hamilton sat among teenagers during the Sunday service. She used her left hand to hold up her stroke-affected right hand in praise, belting out the words to “My Glorious” by Delirious. A few minutes later, she stood next to a 16-year-old, who joined her in belting out the words to “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” She was a small group leader in our youth ministry—at the age of 82.
I’ve always thought that in the ideal church youth ministry as we know it today wouldn’t be necessary.