Today’s devotion from Adam Dorband:
Kodak dominated the photographic scene for over 100 years. It commanded an 89 percent market share of photographic film sales in the United States. Almost everyone used the brand. And the company’s advertising language of a “Kodak moment” became part of the common lexicon.
What happened since then has become a colossal story of failure and missed opportunities. A gigantic casualty in the wake of digital photography–a technology that Kodak invented.
That’s right. Kodak engineer Steve Sasson invented the first digital camera in 1975. He later said, “But it was filmless photography, so management’s reaction was, ‘That’s cute, but don’t tell anyone about it.’” And the company entered into decades of agonizing decline, unable to perceive and respond to the advancing digital revolution. In 2012 this American icon filed for bankruptcy.
How could this happen? Where did the leaders of this once-proud organization go wrong? And how might the American church, which has also entered a time of decline, resemble this story?
If the church is not careful, we could easily go the way that Kodak went!
4,000 churches a year close in the United States, and I would propose that one of the primary reasons is they forgot to prioritize reaching the next generation!
1 O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying,
2 for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—
3 stories we have heard and known,
stories our ancestors handed down to us.
4 We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders.
5 For he issued his laws to Jacob;
he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children,
6 so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.
7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.
8 Then they will not be like their ancestors—
stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,
refusing to give their hearts to God.
We cannot forget to invest in the next generation!
The churches that die each year in America, one of the reasons is this: They were not willing to make significant changes to reach their kids & grand kids! May we never be so foolish!
We must care deeply about being willing to change for the sake of reaching the next generation!
Growing Young Book.
Lessons from churches that are effectively reaching young people.
1. Core Commitment #4: Fuel a Warm Community “Warm is the new cool”
In these congregations, where authenticity triumphs over worship style or a multitude of programs. Young people who participated in the research praised their churches for “warm” attributes, such as welcoming, belonging, accepting, hospitable, and caring.
This requires students actually feeling like the adults in the church care about them!
2. Core Commitment #5: Prioritize Young People (and Families) Everywhere
Churches in the study revealed a disproportionate prioritization of young people—an impulse that, rather than excluding older generations, breathed life into the entire congregation. As one pastor put it, “Everyone rises when you focus on young people.” Involving young people in every ministry has allowed these churches to thrive with authenticity and intergenerational relationships.
3.And we must care about getting them planted in the church… Not just the student ministry as we learned from Sticky Faith Research.
3 Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
4 Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
5 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.
We are going to pray according to the style that Jesus taught his disciples in the Lord’s prayer, and we are going to pray for each of the following.
- Children (0— 10 yrs old)
- Elevate (Middle School & High school)
- Young Adults (18-29 yrs old)
– Pray that we as a church would do a great job at reaching, raising & releasing kids, students & young adults!
Kids these days have it tough!
– pray for our church to be very effective at connecting with young people
– pray for adults who really care for kids to step up and serve
– pray for students & kids you know to get planted in the church!
– pray that our students would feel like Summit is their church and be proud to be a part of what God is doing here
– pray for students as they go back to school this week & next
– pray for our kids who love God to be bold and strong in their faith
– pray for our young adults ministry to grow and be a really life giving ministry over the coming years! (pray for older adults who want to invest in that age group)