Community lives and grows together. It doesn’t happen by accident, and it isn’t maintained by circumstance. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of effort. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is a good example of a church family that has in its history placed a high value on being a community of faith together.
The reality is that for that to carry on in the future, it will require work ahead. This work is not centered in any one particular person of the congregation, but in the person of Jesus Christ and the Gospel that he gave us to proclaim. Without care, community can become complacent and eventually lost. That’s the danger of churches.
A community is maintained with generations working together and care for insuring that the next generation is raised up in the faith. The sad reality of most congregations is that there are gaps. The norm of modern society is that in most cities only seven to fourteen percent of the population is engaged in the life of a church community. This change began with those born between 1946 and 1964, otherwise known as Baby Boomers. With this generation, studies show was the beginning of a sense of distrust of “the establishment.” Unfortunately, this is linked to the Church. The following Generations—Gen-X and the Millenials—have stepped even further away from the institution of the Church.
The reasons are wide ranging from the Church is hypocritical to the Church is irrelevant. They don’t really know what they are often missing because they have only been exposed to the conflicts or the scandals that have been reported over the years. They have been kept from the fullness of the Gospel. That is where we step in. A reality that is evident in society is that there are many searching for community. A place to belong, which is the theme of this year’s Back to Church Sunday, is what they seek. Depression is at epidemic levels as has been highlighted by Time, Newsweek, and other news magazines. As we are more digitally connected, people are lonelier than ever. As the Church, we can fill that gap. ALPHA is merely a tool to help with that, but it can only be successful with you. It is a tool that develops community by being community and welcoming others into the community. For those that have left the faith, it can be a welcome back. For those that have never known the Church, we can welcome them home. Please pray on how you can be a part of this as we plan the next session. Talk to Pastor and join in as we look to the holding the next class. As we seek to be the Church to Washington, let us be the intentional, Christ-centered, Mission-driven community that our God has always meant us to be.