A few months ago I was in Stuttgart, Germany with a few hundred young German Christian leaders from Hope International Ministries. I learned that a few years earlier they had made a commitment to plant a new church within one-hour driving distance from every person living in their nation. Now—220 churches later—this vision has become a reality.
Most of the 220 German churches are small, vibrant churches meeting in homes with young leaders committed to reproducing more new churches. The majority of the believers in these churches have come to faith in Christ within the past few years. The new churches are led by ordinary people with a desire to reach those around them for Christ. These churches continue Jesus’ vision to make disciples and fulfill his Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-21).
In Germany and in many other places younger generations are leaving established churches. They claim to love Jesus but do not sense they are connecting with the local church. We cannot just write them off as being rebellious. At times, that may be the case; however, we cannot simply sit back and do nothing. We must encourage each generation to start churches and ministries that will connect with their own generation.
I am not saying that many of our young people will not continue to serve in our present local churches. They will and they should. But Jesus made it clear that new wine needs new wineskins (Matthew 9:17), and then both are preserved. The old and the new, serving right alongside one another! Every generation needs new churches (new wineskins) to connect with the next generations.
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