At a time when many of us feel pressured to grow numerically, find money for budgets, keep the older generation happy but fill the pews with young people, it’s easy to lose sight of the point of being church. NEXT helps me focus on what really matters. Like the gospel, for instance.
And at a time when we’re discouraged by religious trends, it’s easy to focus on disheartening statistics; Pew Research cites 1/3 of young adults among the “nones.” NEXT reminds me that it’s possible for the church to be creative, young, connected, entrepreneurial, inspired.
And at a time when our society expects everyone to fall into tribal alliances (Republican/Democrat; progressive/conservative; FOX News/MSNBC), it’s easy for church leaders to mimic the culture. NEXT brings together diverse approaches –denominational leaders/inventive outliers; older/younger; ruling elders/teaching elders/YAVs/deacons/other.
And at a time when we’re used to church meetings being boring, NEXT isn’t. That’s reason enough for me.
– Chris Chakoian, Pastor, Lake Forest Presbyterian Church, Lake Forest IL