THIS IS A RE-POST FROM February 20, 2008
Last week I discussed the reasons I felt God had lead me to start a church. Today we’ll discuss WHY I would want to start a church in East Tennessee.
That question is the most puzzling to people. After all, Tennessee is the belt buckle of the Bible belt. There is a church on every street corner it seems…well, it seems so because there IS a church on every street corner.
The fact is: The Knoxville area doesn’t need a new church at all. It does however, need DIFFERENT kinds of churches.
A subtle generational divide has taken place over the last 25 years. No longer do children automatically inherit the beliefs and assumptions about God and church that their parents had. A generation is being lost, not because they don’t like Jesus, but because they don’t like the church.
It is hard to blame them. If an outsider, with no bias, studied and evaluated churches in the area – they would have to conclude that most churches market themselves to 45-65 year old middle class Americans, regardless of whether it is intentional or not. Many churches are stepped with traditions, methods, and messages that do not connect with the new generation’s culture.
That is not inherently bad – 45-65 year old Americans need Jesus, but the problem is that 18-35 year old singles and families are being lost.
The church God wants me to start will be strategically designed to reach a generation in the Bible belt that is unchurched, de-churched and anti-church. If we miss this generation, my generation – there will be no Bible belt in 50 years.
Less than 30% of Knox County’s population attends church with any kind of regularity. With so many churches, why is 70% of the population at home on Sunday morning?
Well, maybe it’s the churches fault? I’m convinced of it actually. We’ve become clubs more than missions. It’s usually about ME and I – when it should be all about Jesus and reaching those without him. The problem includes me, so I want to be apart of the remedy!