Things with the merger between Heritage and Grace seem to be moving forward well, so I took some time this morning to think about some practical concerns. One of the things I’ve been thinking about is our ‘target’ for ministry.
Now, I need to provide a quick clarification. I am not a big fan of ‘group specific’ ministry (i.e. Gen-X ministry, postmodern ministry, seeker-driven ministry). Scripturally, the church should be diverse both ethnically and generationally. But, that being said, we need to keep in mind who we can reach.
I was reading something from the pastor of a megachurch in Washington, DC. He said that 70% of his church is twenty something singles. I cannot judge his congregation, but doesn’t that seem a little unbalanced? The Scriptures are full of references to families and households in the church, and it seems to be implied that the family is the foundation of the church.
That being said, I am thinking that not only should our church provide ministries for every member of the family (adult Bible studies, children’s ministry, youth group), it should also design worship and large group gatherings with the family in mind. Perhaps the family ministries should be a safety net for the family, but the intention should be to allow the family to worship and grow together.
Why shouldn’t the adult worship gathering be as welcoming to children and teens as it is to adults? And why shouldn’t adults feel welcome and engaged in the children’s ministry?
How do we build a ministry without these age borders? I have to think about it some more and try to engage the entire congregation a little better. I also think we need to build a children’s ministry with just as much spiritual content as the ‘adult’ services. And we have to almost ‘reteach’ church to people because the assumption is that kids cannot handle the adult service and that adults get nothing out of children’s ministry.
A lot to think about.