Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Twenty somethings: the churches unreached generation?

Is it just me, or is the church in New Zealand doing a bad job at reaching out to, and supporting those in the "twenty-something" age group? It's a conviction has been growing in me for some time. 
  
The church is doing an okay job of reaching theses in their teenage years. It’s becoming had to find a church without an employed youth pastor, let alone one without a youth group these days, and there are a large number of events, publications and programs aimed at teenagers today. And we seem to be doing an okay job of reaching those middle aged and older. The many parenting and marriage based ministries around is one example of this.

 Now I don’t want to dis all these ministries, many of which do a fantastic job. Be we seem to forget that people don’t go from being an eighteen year old school kid to a 30 year old mother or father with a middle class job over night. And there are a few stars in this ministry vacuum. Marriage preparation causes and ministry to university students such as TSCF do existed and do an awesome job. However, much of this work goes unnoticed and underfunded by the church at large. TSCF for example have only around 2000 people on there database of supporters. Churches as a whole do not see 18 to 30 year olds as groups to minister to. Yet as I beginning to learn, people in this age group face many challenges.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

A tribute to Kylie

Kylie Palamo, a workmate of mine, sadly passes away on Saturday, after a battle with cancer, aged 30. Today I attended her funeral. "Smiley" Kylie was a fantastic workmate, with a laugh and smile which will be remembered by everyone who met her. Her kindness made her popular with everyone. Visits to the music bar were always a moment to remember when Kylie was there. Kylie's Faith and many friends and family helped her get thought the last mouths of her life. We will all miss her heaps.
God bless you Kylie, and rest in peace,
Nathan

Monday, 7 January 2008

Same staff I’ve bean thinking about

Who is the God who we as Christians worship? Is he a God of Love? Of justice? Of Wrath? Is he our Father? Our king? Our friend? Our Shepherded? Our judge? The truth is that he is all these things. And more. We worship a many dimensional God. All these characteristics belong to the God found in the Bible.

Yet many of seem to reduce him to just one of these. There are many who talk about the love of God, but forget that  he is also a Just God, that he is therefore also a God who punishes those who continue to disobey his. There are others who tell everyone how God is going to punish them for everything they have done wrong, while forgetting that God came to Earth as a human to save us. Others seem to worship a God who is nothing more than a mysterious best friend, while forgetting that he is king and Lord over their life, while others have great respect and fear of God, yet they don’t know his as their heavenly father.

The truth is, God is such an awesome and complex God, that we can never know all his characteristics here on Earth. If we could, he would not be the God of the Bible, but a figment of our imagination which we have called God. Yet this is no excuse for us to focus on one fascist of God’s character and call that God. Now at one level, God is simple. Jesus said that we must receive the kingdom of heaven as a child would. At one level Jesus really is the answer to everything. But this God who calls us to receive him as a child takes an eternity to get to know.