Barna just released it's new research project on Generation Z (the current and coming generation of teenagers) and the spiritual prognosis is grim. This generation of teenagers is twice as likely to be atheists than adults are. The Barna study calls them the first "post Christian generation" in U.S. history.
This is the simple reason why church growth is going to more difficult in the future. Our current strategies of "invite a friend/neighbor to church" is going to have less and less effect on the pending generation of adults.
That's why we must equip our teenagers and adults right now to go to them. We must train them to engage others in Gospel conversations in everyday situations...right where they live and work and play.
Quite honestly this takes work. We must inspire our people to evangelize. We must equip them to evangelize. And we must expect them to evangelize. In the words of my good friend Brian Aaby we must #NormalizeRisk...especially the risk attached with relational evangelism.
To reach the upcoming generation of adults (Generation Z)) we must equip the upcoming generation of adults. We must help them to have both Gospel urgency and Gospel fluency. We must teach them to reach out without freaking out. We must demystify evangelism by helping them to share the Gospel story in a complete and compelling way.
Here are two resources to help you do just that: The first is the Dare 2 Share Field Guide. It equips teenagers and adults alike to share the Gospel with anyone, any where and any time. The second is the free Dare 2 Share app. This sharp little app contains the irreducible minimum of all of our core training at Dare 2 Share and will help you effectively share the Gospel.
Truly effective pastors see beyond the current state of things to the coming one. If you are ready to get ready for the first wave of "post Christian" adults, start equipping your adults (and your teenagers) right now.
For more help check out www.gospeladvancing.com. Although the current strategy for church growth is going to be increasingly ineffective, the one imbedded in the book of Acts can accelerate growth in any cultural climate.
Originally posted at gregstier.dare2share.org.