Several years ago Chris and I attended a meeting for youth pastors. The speaker said one line that has stuck with me for years... "Your goal as a youth pastor is not for your students to keep their pants up until they graduate; your goal is to help your students learn to love the church. If they love the church then when they graduate and get out on their own, they will have ownership in the church and want to make it part of their adult life".
I've often thought -What does it mean to love the church? Do I love the church?
At times in my life going to church was simply a choice I made because it was the "right" thing to do. Other times I couldn't wait to go to church because there was something significant going on in my life and I really wanted to share my latest cool news or get prayer for my current struggle.
The past few weeks on facebook, the subject of church has come up with various people. It seems as though going to church has not been life giving at all. What they are experiencing is very real and very discouraging.
Chris & I are getting ready to plant a new church in Madison, WI in 2009. We have a team of people selling homes, quitting good jobs & leaving family and security to help us on this quest. We are hoping to have a church that can draw in those who are currently disconnected from a faith community.
So, I thought it would be interesting to see if we could generate some discussion through this blog on the subject of church. What are you looking for/hoping for from your church experience? How has your recent season of church been life giving or life draining? If you had advice to pass on to our church planting team, what would it be?
Let the comments flow...