I picked up and awesome new book called You Lost Me by David Kinnaman of the Barna Group. This is a must read, no matter what age group you are in.
The basic premise of the book is that a huge number of previously churched twenty-somethings are now unchurched.
He’s got some awesome research in there. I haven’t finished it yet but I am developing ideas off of it based on the book I am writing called unMentored.
I think besides the individual stories which are extremely important it boils down to one thing, relationships (in which case you’ll hear the individual stories).
It’s funny because you know those people who are extroverts or the life of the party? They tend to miss the boat most of the time. Real relationships are built one at a time over coffee or tea or a beer.
I know how to grow an organization, be it a church, or business, or whatever. It’s relationships. But there are layers to relationships. Here’s what I mean. If you are the leader of an organization you can only have time for a certain number of people, I think 6 is a perfect number. That’s one per day and then a day of rest (yes, there’s an obvious biblical context).
Those 6 people that you are leading and mentoring and pouring your life into then take what they learn and pick their own people (probably no more than 5 at this level) to take what they are learning and teach them. And then so on to the next level.
What’s most important here is the give and take of learning. When we receive wisdom from a mentor or a teacher it’s not just for us. It is for others as well. You see when you bottle up wisdom that’s not wisdom, it’s just knowledge. Wisdom is when knowledge goes from your head to your heart. And as Jesus teaches us in Luke 6:45, “From the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
I also want to make mention here that relationships do not need to built only along socioeconomic lines. This means you should build relationships with people that are different from you, older, younger, wealthier, poorer, wiser, dumber, married, single, divorced, widowed, employee, business owner, pastor, etc.
So lets build our organizations right, let’s build them on relationships. If we do it correctly we won’t lose so many young people or anyone for that matter, out the churches “back door.”