In order to engage with our current world we must be aware of not only biblical precepts, but also of our current context and culture. In re-building our ministries to young people we are keeping this in mind. The following are the 6 “filters” by which we will strain all of our efforts through:

  1. Inter-generational – Today’s 18-35 yr olds are leaving the church (church at large, not just ECC) in droves. The problem does not lie in the fact that there are not good college/young adult ministries. Instead, we believe the the solo-generational, age-segregated emphasis of churches over the last 40 years has left a generation with very little connection to the previous generation. Now that they are graduating from high school and entering the “adult” world …they find themselves unable to adapt to the realities of an adult spiritual community. Why? Because for their whole life they have been indirectly told that the adult spiritual world has little to do with them. They ride to church with their parents, but as soon as they arrive the family is separated into “age-appropriate” classes and spiritual growth is fostered independent of any other generation.
  2. Relevant -As we contextualize the message of Jesus for today, we must use methods that engage this present generation. For instance, young people do not relate well to 45 min monologues. However, they can relate to several speakers, small group/interactive settings and, of course, multi-media galore! We must also make sure that the issues that are facing our young people today are addressed.
  3. Creative – God is a creative God who is constantly re-creating so that we reflect his image. Although we don’t have the awesome creative power that he has, we should allow all of our creativity to flow as we minister Him to the young people of Hillsboro.
  4. Biblical – We believe that the Bible speaks to us today, and so, we will maintain a biblical base for all activity and ministry. However, we don’t exist to worship the bible, but to worship God, who is not completely contained or fully revealed in the pages of the Bible.
  5. Releasing Ministry – Ephesians 4 makes it very clear that leaders exist to release others to do the work of the ministry –
    Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. We will work hard to enable our community of believers to be the ones that minister to our young people. No single person or small group of staffers can carry the work of the ministry. It takes every one of us.
  6. Integrity.

I would love to hear some feedback – Do these things make sense? Do you agree or disagree? What other things would you like to see happen?