I preached last Sunday that New Life Values The Authentic Life. It is part of our seven core values that make New Life the church God would have us be. I would like to share a piece that didn’t make it into that sermon about the topic. I would like to share part of why I think God would have us be a church that values The Authentic Life. You can listen to the Sermon here.
The first obvious reason that I believe God would have us be a church that valued The Authentic Life was expressed in the sermon. Authenticity is a firmly biblical concept. That is foundational. If it weren’t directly supported by the bible it wouldn’t be a value of New Life so all of our values have that as a reason. Beyond that there are many other cultural features, or things New Life could emphasize as a value that we don’t. So… the question remains: Why The Authentic Life?
I believe it has a lot to do with the Millennial Generation. The millennials are those of us born between roughly 1977 and 1992, and there a lot of people very interested in them. It has been well documented that millennials value authenticity almost more than anything else. Article upon article as been written about this subject. This is significant for several reasons. One reason is that the millennials are overtaking the “baby boomers” as the largest generation. Another is that they are beginning to influence culture in a major way. The more the millennials influence the culture around them the more that other generations will begin to act, and think like the millennials.
Why is this important for the church? Well, our values have a lot to do with how we do church. The message of Jesus and the bible do not change but the way it is communicated must. The method need in order to effectively communicate the message to a baby boomer may be different then the way we communicate it to a Millennial. Thus, understanding a generation goes a long way toward reaching a generation.
Finally, there is something we all need to realize about generations and how they differ. Every generation that comes along is labeled as worse by the generations that proceeded it in one way or another. What we must realize in the church is that one generation is not worse, less religious or moral, or difficult to reach than the proceeding, they are merely different. Each generation as aspects of the gospel they more easily accept and aspects they more quickly reject. The church must realize the differences and adapt its method to use the parts the generation accepts to communicate the parts it struggles with. The problem with the church, is that typically, we have figured out how to reach one generation about the time it is getting old. We need to be ahead of the curve and I believe that is part of why we value The Authentic Life.
Article about Millenials and Authenticity
Article about the rise of Millenials