Not quite two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the third annual Church & Culture Conference in Charlotte, NC.
The Church & Culture Conference led by author and pastor James Emery White in partnership with Mecklenburg Community Church seeks to examine the latest cultural insights and addresses how to practice of ministry in light of those insights.
I attended both as mama of two Generation Z (those born 1995 – 2010) teen boys and as one who longs to reach the next generation thru women’s ministry.
Let me tell you it was a wake-up call for both!
I’m not sure many in the church have considered how the church will need to adapt to reach the next generation.
By the year 2020 40% of US consumers will be under the age of 25. Lord willing our churches will reflect that but most of us have a long way to go!
Today I’m sharing 4 key takeaways from the Church & Culture Conference that greatly impact women’s ministry.
Takeaway #1 – Generation Z has not known the world without constant access to the internet.
Women’s ministry impact – We must engage the next generation through social media. And while other generations use Facebook, Gen Z does not. Consider the opportunities and possibilities we have to lovingly share Truth and be salt through social media. Maybe this means your team needs some social media training.
Takeaway #2 – We must rethink how we present the Gospel. Our audience is growing up in a post-Christian world. There is a high level of Biblical illiteracy.
Women’s ministry impact – We have to approach ministry from the perspective of the “unchurched”. The songs and stories we are so familiar with and foreign to most. Not only do we need to offer opportunities to study the Bible, but we need to teach how to read the Bible. When we speak we need to explain the story of Jonah, rather than assuming everyone knows the storyline. We need to remember what it is like to be without Christ. And this is why I don’t do Bible games.
Takeaway #3 – We must be prepared to dialogue about our beliefs.
Women’s ministry impact – We must know what God’s Word says and be prepared to answer questions about it. Do we understand and can we articulate what the Word say vs. what the culture says? Are we prepared to handle the “so what?’ questions. So what if Jesus rose from the dead? Are we training our women in apologetics? Do our women know how to confidently share the Gospel?
Takeaway #4 – The questions of the Nones (those who claim no religious affiliation) and the discipleship needs of believers are almost identical.
Women’s ministry impact – We don’t have to devise different programs or events for different audiences. Both groups need Bible study teaching. Both groups need to mentor and be mentored. We can provide background and introduction and still go deep on the content. A beautiful thing happens when groups contain women in various stages of Christian maturity. Those farther along encourage those behind them. Those who are seeking or are new Christians have a thirst for knowledge and fresh sense of wonder that can light a spark in those who have become stagnant.
When we understand the culture and the impact it can have we are better equipped to reach both the churched and the unchurched.
I’d love to know what your women’s ministry and/or your church is doing to reach the next generation! Please comment below.
You may also want to read:
Why I Don’t Do Bible Games
How to Engage Multiple Generations
What the New Girl Needs
How to Alienate Visitors
9 Secrets to Making Guests Feel Welcome
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