Yesterday I got together with Mark, another youth pastor/leader in the Hillsboro area. (We were connected through a group of youth leaders who get together once a month to envision what we can do to unite the youth of Hillsboro/western Washington County. At one of those meetings we discussed the need for an inter-generational emphasis within our churches. Many of us are seeing that if we don’t work hard at engaging our older generations with our younger generations we will continue to see the emerging generations leave the church and their relationships with God) Mark and I spent a good 2 hours talking… about how God has led us to where we are now. He has dismantled much of his churches children’s ministries and placed all a ton of emphasis on engaging parents with the enormous task/challenge of raising their own children. I am impressed with his vision and his courage to carry it out. Good job Mark.

Our generations don’t exist in vacuums. We are inter-connected and dependant on each other. If we continue to perpetuate the generational gap we will continue to see a disenfranchised, self-centered, hurt generation run away from the church. Perhaps they will find temporary solace in a church that caters to their generation alone, but ultimately they will never fully engage with the whole body of Christ. Jesus prayed in John 17:20-21 (NLT)

I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.

Paul writes in Ephesians 4:3 (NLT)

Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace

And in Philippians 2:1-4

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing

We are constantly asked to be in unity and agreement. We are making moves in this direction. You may have noticed that our youth are now a part of our Wednesday service. We are also intertwining the Junior High with Senior Service on Saturday night. We realize that we are taking risks right now. We realize that not everybody agrees with our direction. But, we are trying to catch up with the call that Jesus has on his church right now.

And we aren’t alone…my new friend Mark is doing the same thing.