August 20, 2012
What is Shift?
Shift is our church family coming together to help bring the next generation into a grounded relationship with Jesus Christ.
Studies show 50-70% of young adults, ages 18-36, who grew up in the church are walking away from church after high school, and that 40-70% of those who left do not come back. Given those statistics, around 30% of Mt. Bethel’s active students will leave the church and will not return. Results like these are causing churches to take a hard look at how they are ministering to their congregations, especially to young people. Churches across the Nation are working to reverse this trend.
Aren’t We Already Doing This?
For years, we have built wonderful programs engaging children, students, and adults; however, creating this “silo” approach has contributed to separating families when considering worshipping and developing their faith. We have unknowingly encouraged parents to drop off children and students so that the “professionals” can lead them to Christ.
The reality is that parents are the primary faith influencers in their children’s lives: parents have approximately 3,000 hours a year with their children at home compared to 50 hours a year at church. Depending on such little time of spiritual development at the church will not make a life impression on chil
dren. Parents must impress the commands of God on their children in every day life.
So Shift is for Families Only?
While raising children is the primary responsibility of their parents, it is not exclusively so. The church body is their extended family, and we are all responsible for strengthening the family and for raising the next generation. When a child is baptized, we renew our commitment in helping to raise that child to know and to love our Lord Jesus Christ. We need every generation speaking into the lives of children and young people.
How do We Shift?
Mt. Bethel will provide resources, training, events, and Biblical direction to reinforce our church family’s role as the spiritual influencers for the next generation. We start with a foundation, and then offer activities which encourage families to have faith talks at home, promote involvement in accountability groups, help families to heal through counseling and other resources, and finally bring all generations together not just to learn from each other but also to develop a caring environment for all ages.
Shift is a blueprint to make Christ the cornerstone of every Mt. Bethel family.