Ed Stetzer’s new book Lost & Found is such a needed resource to churches everywhere. So many of the other books similar to this one have such a doom and gloom outlook to them. Saying things like “Christianity will die in this generation, the church is doomed.” Stetzer’s heart is one of a missionary and has a goal of helping churches be affective and reach those in their culture.
One of the things that struck me in the book was that while it share ideas of what to do to reach the younger unchurched in America, it didn’t give formulas. It talked more about values that churches have. Things like authenticity, clarity, depth, community, and team. Formulas will not work in reaching the culture around us. But values are transferable and can look one way in Seattle and another in Florida.
For me, this book confirmed a lot of things we are doing right at Revolution, but also showed some things that we/I need to get better at.
Here are some ideas from the book:
- The majority of the younger unchurched actually do believe in God and believe that He is the God described in the Bible.
- Almost 90% of the unchurched twenty- to twenty-nine-year-olds said they would be willing to listen if someone wanted to them about Christianity.
- Three out of five younger unchurched respondents agreed they would be willing to study the Bible if a friend asked them to do so.
- Younger folks are generally less “fed-up” with religion than older unchurched people.
- Depth is about the level of content. It’s about engaging people at every level – emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and even physically.
- Young adults are looking for and striving toward truth. They care about who they are and what they’re becoming. Ankle deep doesn’t work for them. They’d rather be in over their heads as opposed to kicking around in the shallow end. They like to study the “hard-to-talk-about” topics. They love tough questions and despise pat answers. They like wrestling with truth and chewing on things around which they can barely wrap their minds. They believe in processing and also find that questions are sometimes better than answers.
- More than being pampered, young adults want to be a part of something bigger than themselves and are looking to be a part of an organization where they can make a difference through acts of service.
- Authentic leaders are people who: lead from brokenness, are not afraid to share their struggles, are willing to tell stories that may make them appear weak or imperfect, avoid pretenses or the use of gimmicks, admit the need for grace and for a Savior, and are hopeful about the redemption they have found in Jesus.
All in all, a great read. You definitely need to pick this up if you are church planter, pastor or leader in a church that cares about reaching the younger unchurched.