So here’s a question: if you led a church, what would you do to make it the best place possible for students?
What three things would happen, what three principles would be most important, how would you design your church community for students?
Whether you’re part of a church community or not, whether you've ever stepped inside a church building or not, if you were given the freedom and budget to create your own church community that would be exceptionally good for students, what would you do?
Would there be a Starbucks stand serving coffee (complete with all the syrups… caramel latte in a takeaway cup please)? Would there be bean bags instead of chairs? Would you have church in a student nightclub, with the bar open and the dance-floor ready for an after-church night-out?
What would be the most important things about your church?
Would you even meet on a Sunday or do you think mid-week smaller groups of students building community in their houses and halls of residence is the way forward? Maybe most of your connection would happen online? Would students getting input and wisdom from people twice their age be key, or do you think students doing day-to-day with each other, challenging each other as mates, is going to be a higher priority?
Would your church exist for students who already know Jesus, or for those that don’t? How does that shape what you do and who you are?
Ok, this blog is one massive list of questions I know, but it’s to get us all thinking. You see, our generation have experienced massive cultural shift with things like the internet and technology exploding like never before. How we experience the world, how we were brought up in schools, how we make and connect with friends, has all changed since our parents were our age.
And yet, it is people mainly over forty who lead the churches we are, or aren’t, part of. So, given that by and large these leaders don’t know how we think and tick and work, because the game changed with us, it’s up to us to design, create and build what does work for us when it comes to church community.
One of my favourite verses in the bible encourages us to lead the way, now:
‘Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity’ 1 Tim 4: 12.
Set an example for the believers. What example of church that works for students would you set?