Daron's Soap Box: How Warm is Your Church?

HOW WARM IS YOUR CHURCH?

Is your church a welcoming bonfire or a dying ember?

Daron has a soap box moment.
I love church bonfire nights... they are warm, intergenerational, full of messy stuff like marshmallows and damper and spotlight hide and seek! Not to mention the firecracker nights growing up.... Awesome church socials.
How warm is your church? Is it a welcoming bonfire or is it a dying ember?
Children often leave the church because they never really belonged... they were sent out to the back rooms and given pizza and some fun and fluff while the adults did "real grownup church." They were kept in holding tanks full of bright lights and cute stories but never felt like they truly belonged to the church. Whilst we droned on about the "truth", they were never given the keys, never participated, never integrated into what it means to do church.. to be church! By the time we decide that our children have reached that magical age when we need to get serious about them and get them into the baptismal font, they have already gone... in fact they decided to leave long before they reached their teenage years.
How warm, is your church? When it comes to keeping and growing our kids, the warmer the better
The Sticky Faith group makes some interesting points around creating warmth in your church. How does your church rate?
"• Structure is necessary for growing young, but it’s not enough. Churches that grow young sometimes actually program less in order to free up more space for relational connection.
• Warm is the new cool. More than flashy worship, young people want authenticity and connection. When they talk about their churches, they talk about people and warmth. Regardless of whether you meet in an auditorium or a house, consider how your worship service can feel more like a family room.
• Churches grow young by weaving warmth into their DNA. The most common phrase people used to describe their churches was “like family.” Other words describing warmth included welcoming, accepting, belonging, authentic, hospitable, and caring.
•Honest relationships and the ability to be real or authentic are not only preferences for young people; they also build stronger churches.
• Intergenerational relationships grow everyone young by helping them break out of the silos of age-and stage-based ministry and create connections across generations. Two of the most common ways churches invest in intergenerational relationships are through mentoring and corporate worship."
(Kara Powell, et al 2016)
Daron gets off his soapbox to go stoke the fires of warmth, intergenerational connections, relationships, messy togetherness and authenticity...he fans the flames... In fact he decides to go the whole hog and turn these things into a welcoming bonfire!
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