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The aim of the 6:30 service will be to teach the bible to, and build community with, members of our church family of all ages. However, there will be significant emphasis on engaging with youth and young adults as well as providing an appealing atmosphere to non-church goers. The intent is to model this on a family type gathering where a variety of people come together to have honest conversations and build genuine relationships.
Generation Z is the generation that was born between 1996-2010 and includes teenagers – those we would class as ‘Youth’ and some ‘Young Adults’. This generation has been raised on the internet and social media yet have little or no history with God, the church, or the Christian faith. This does not mean they are not interested in spiritual things, however, it is that they are turning to things other than Christianity and the church to connect spiritually. Even though this presents challenges to the church in how it reaches Youth and Young Adults with the gospel, the opportunities are vast and it is these opportunities we are looking to target.
Those who have studied Gen Z or worked with people of this age group will note that, generally, they are sceptical of organized religion but are not completely anti-God. Most notably, Gen Z tend to have a desire for truth, meaning and purpose which makes them quite open minded. Gen Z also highly value genuineness, openness and honesty. We aim to incorporate these values by providing a place where gospel truths are taught, the realities of Christian lives are shared and conversations are encouraged.
We intend to do this by altering the structure of the teaching segment of the services. Rather than the congregation sitting and listening we want to encourage an atmosphere and style that allows for interaction and participation. This will likely involve varying formats and much work in progress to begin with. Variety is also a key part of engaging with Gen Z which is why we want to offer these varying formats. However, Gen Z (and most other generations) also benefit from stability so there will be key structural elements to the service that will remain similar from week to week.
Our main aims include the following:
The teaching should be biblically faithful and stretching, powerful in delivery, culturally relevant, and impact the mind, our actions, and emotions. Teachers should be personable and godly in character, not putting on a show, but teaching humbly and boldly as a member of the family.
Those who attend should not be consumers of a service, but members of the family who can give and take from the gathering/conversation those things that their personality allows. Thought must be given as to how those attending can be helped to live out their faith through the whole week, not just on Sundays.
When the church sings, you should know about it. Church should be a place where God’s praises are genuinely sung, not timidly or reluctantly, but boldly and loudly. Our sung worship will lift our eyes to God and build one another up in love.
Community and interaction are key, fostering real intergenerational relationships.
Innovative thinking is the way ahead, considering each aspect of our current services and revisiting its purpose and vision, for example with welcome and hospitality. Things should not stay the same because it has always been done that way. Growth and change based around scriptural truth is crucial.