After hanging with my friends in high school, I would come home around midnight, watch some TV, and just go to bed. Why? Because there really wasn't anything else to do. You could do some internet researching, but that was at a time when internet was timed and we only had ten hours of internet time. No cell phones, no texting, no facebook, just phone calls, and face to face.
Things are different now. Most youth today text over two thousands texts a month, they talk to friends instantly after getting home on the computer, and they probably stay up much later than I did because they can still communicate after midnight. The relationships between people are much different than 10 years ago and the need for a community has changed also. One of the reasons I went to youth group was because of friendships and connecting with people, and in many ways the reason I kept going to church, was due to friends to hang out with. And for many years, the church has try to sell itself as a way to meet people, to hang out with friends, and get together with people. However, what happens when the friendships are being connected at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning and church starts at 8 a.m.? Then why should I go to church?
I think we are at a critical stage in the church, but not in how we do church, but how we speak of it. In the past 20 years, we have lost the reason for worship, Bible Study, and membership. But now we are at a point, where we can teach the wonders of being in God's house. No longer will people listen to the response of why go to church, "To be with other people." That was never a good response anyways. We can teach about how God brings His gifts in worship. He brings forgiveness that the world does not give (if you mess up in the work world or in school, it requires many thing you have to do in order to bring atonement). His Holy Spirit changes our hearts. And we learn more about what it means to be a baptized child of God. Overall, to teach about what God does instead of what we do, will be a great way to bring the excitement to what church and worship is all about.
Next time I will address how we can use facebook to uplift our churches and keep our confessional heritage....