1906 W. Lee Road, Orlando, FL 32810 407-293-0450

Getting Younger

Mark Weible, Church Planting Director

According to 2010 census data, the Orlando metro population is getting younger. Over a third of the local population is between the ages of 20 - 44 with the median age at 36.7. If GOBA churches are representative of national SBC trends, then most of the people attending corporate worship services are over the age of 50.

Here is an important question, “Does the Church exist to serve the people who already comprise the Church, or to make disciples of unreached people?” Since Mark 10:45 is my life verse, I would say that followers of Christ live beyond themselves and make personal sacrifices so that others can be reached with the gospel. If you agree with me, then you would also agree that the decisions that we make in local churches should be based upon Biblical missional mandates vs personal preferences.

This is an important issue, because the personal preferences of most of our church members are geared toward serving the needs and desires of an aging group of people who are already a part of the church family. If we follow the Bible, we will not let that happen. Instead, we would honor our older members by teaching them to train younger adults to develop healthy families (Titus 2:1-5). It is these young families who will reach the next generation.

We should not allow anyone to use personal preferences as a foundation for decision-making in the local church. We must insist that we function as the body of Christ, with Jesus as the head and that we follow His commands. If we are following Christ, then we are intentionally discipling the younger generation.

Church Planters often focus on reaching younger adults because this is a huge unreached population segment. New churches can design new ministries and outreach strategies that target young families without the fear of personal-preference backlash. However, that does not mean that these churches are ignoring older adults. Often, new churches attract mature Christ followers who have a heart-felt burden for seeing the next generation come to Christ.

In order to reach Central Florida with the good news of Jesus Christ, we need to plant more churches and revitalize legacy churches. The motivation for doing so comes from a deep commitment to Jesus Christ and a desire to be obedient to His commands. Your GOBA staff is here to help to be more effective at accomplishing the mission that Christ has given to your church. We can help give you a unique perspective on your mission field and your church’s effectiveness in accomplishing the great commission. We can connect you with the resources, training, coaching and expertise that you need to be more effective. Get in touch at www.GOBA.org.

5 comments (Add your own)

1. john wrote:
I have lived here and been involved in SBC churches for 50 years.
Well meaning (I assume) people have taken it upon themselves to make changes in
the churches to attract the young people with loud music, drama, and a variety
of things that appeal to the emotions.

There are more and more churches and less and less worship and service.

You experts on church growth need to stop and take a look at what you've done.
I do not know of a single church that has been turned inside out with these "progressive"
and contemporary efforts, that has grown .
There is a flow of people through them and little is being built.
The church where I attend has just about failed completely after over 100 years of existence.
We don't need a new direction, we need revival and the filling power of God's Spirit.
I hope I never see another guitar, drum or some kid with his shirt tail hanging out.
That doesn't win people...............

Tue, March 20, 2012 @ 10:13 AM

2. Mark Weible wrote:
John,

Thank you for your comment. I want to challenge you to take a Biblical, Christ-like approach toward reaching people who are not like us.

Tue, March 20, 2012 @ 11:05 AM

3. john wrote:
It sounds more like you want me to agree with you.

Wed, March 21, 2012 @ 8:00 AM

4. Mark Weible wrote:
John,

Let's agree to follow the Bible and Christ together.

Wed, March 21, 2012 @ 4:23 PM

5. Mark Weible wrote:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Mon, March 26, 2012 @ 5:56 AM

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