Boring. Hypocritical. Judgemental. Narrow-minded. Self-seeking, etc…
Sadly, this is too many people’s perception of what their local church is and stands for, and in some circumstances these words may be true.
The Church is filled with imperfect people, struggling to work out life together, the same as any community.
My own experiences of church have been far from perfect, and filled with pain and hurt at times. Stats show that church attendance is on the decline, especially among young people. Apparently there are 90% fewer teens attending church throughout the last twenty years. According to a study in the Independent, 58% of UK residents classify themselves to have no religion or faith at all.
So why do I, and other young people persevere, stick with it, keep going? My answer is this: because the local church is God’s plan of salvation, hope and wholeness for our nation and the nations!
A Church that is whole-heartedly striving to love God and love people is a beautiful and wonderful thing. It is an incredibly diverse movement, yet when there is the same common goal, Jesus is glorified.
It’s a place where the elderly and youth alike serve and play their part in building up the church to be an effective force for good.
“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 Timothy 4:12
Be encouraged that whatever your calling is, God can and will use you through the local church. It might be serving on refreshments, the Kids Club, hosting or setting up, or leading a youth group.
And that’s why I love the Church – because there is a part for everyone to play, and because our generation is the Church of today and tomorrow!
For more on this topic, check out our ‘Why Do We Go To Church?‘ post!