We are living in an age where change is the only aspect of life that is consistent. Human interests change just as constantly, with interests changing from the nuclear power plant dilemma to the price of a gallon of gas. It is inevitable that when society changes, the local church follows suit, sooner or later. Change is always a long and many times, a painful experience for the church. The machinery of denominationalism and tradition are usually the restrictive forces during change. With our hindsight being better than our foresight, we can see that the local church has made some dramatic changes. There are churches that have grown from small clusters of people meeting in an abandoned store into congregations of thousands meeting in auditoriums equipped with the latest in electronic wizardry. The church is no longer a one-room building with its entire ministry centering around the pastor. Instead, the church has developed into a complex, multi-faceted ministry in an attempt to meet the unique needs of people.
Adolescent or youth ministry is a practical, hands-on ministry. Youth ministry, by its very nature Gust like the teens), is extremely active and energetic. Young people are looking for sound bite answers to spiritually life-threatening questions. They want these answers faster than they can connect to the internet. Our efforts to minister to these young people must be effective and have a kind of adolescent attraction.
PROLIFERATION OF CHURCHES
Proliferation of Churches entails multiplicity of Christian religious groups with each founder claiming divine origin of his or her ministry. Our global society today is undergoing significant constant proliferation of churches which have brought not only changing values, but also greater source of solutions to people’s problems. This rapid multiplication of churches is borne out of the understanding that in Nigeria, there is freedom of religious worship. Central to the constant proliferation of churches is the question of its environmental effects on the people in the society. Several factors have been found to be responsible for this church proliferation. They include economic recession, rapid evangelization, beliefs and practices, unhealthy rivalry, genuine thirst for spiritual nourishment, theological issues, fanaticism, leadership tussle and the likes. The proliferation of churches in Nigeria today is as a result of numerical strength of churches which was a result of church growth. This rapid multiplication of churches is borne out of the understanding that there is freedom of religious worship in Nigeria and all over the world.
WHY YOUTHS EASILY CHANGE CHURCHES
A) CHURCH DOCTRINE
One of the reasons why youths easily change churches is as a result of the church doctrine. There are some church doctrines that does not go well or has no clear understanding to some members of the church especially the youths of the generation who believes things should be done in some certain ways or rather there should be a clear understanding of why they do what they do in church and not just doing things blindly or following the church doctrines out of ignorance. The world today has evolved so much that the things of the past are seen as outdated or not in vogue with what is obtainable in today’s civilized world and youths are at the center of this civilization. They however, to an extend feel that whatever they do in church should align to what they know or the right way to do things. Therefore, when the doctrine of a church is not clear to them, there is every tendency of leaving the church to another.
B) PEER INFLUENCE
Another point why youths easily change churches is peer influence. Peer group is one of the greatest factors for change and influence. Reason why parents have to be intentional and observant of the kinds of friends their children keep so as to ensure they don’t get influenced negatively. The kind of friends one keeps can also influence his/her change of church or place of worship. It could start from inviting you to a program, then convincing you that their place of worship is better than where you worship and because they are your friends, you may agree with them. Some friends go as far as pointing out the wrongs in your church which are contrary to the scriptures just to drag you out or make you see your church doctrines and teachings as the wrong way to Christ or heaven. Some of them even tell you that there church is where the light of God is and dwells while yours in darkness. And you may begin to reason towards that line.
Another way peers can influence you to change your church is telling that most of them (your friends) attend same church so why don’t you join them so you all can be together even in church. All these reasons can make you change church or your place of worship.
C) THE MESSAGE
The type of message preached in the church is another factor that can lead youths to changing church. As a preacher, the youths of today believe that you should move with time if the messages you preach are outdated or does not correlate with the happenings in the world today, they see such messages as boring and outdated. They forget that Christ is the message and should be in the center of it all. If as a preacher you do not preach more of prosperity, they see you as old school. Most of the youths in this generation hates end time messages or massages that has to do with repentance/sins, the coming of Christ and the death of Christ etc. if the message is not appealing to them, they leave the church and look for a church that has messages that appeals to their soul.
However, there are some youths who find it rather inappropriate for the preacher to always dwell on prosperity messages only leaving out messages that has to do with the eternity of their souls and how to live for God in this perilous time. As a result they leave the church.
D) TIME OF SERVICE
The time for service is another point to look at as regards why youths change church. Some churches stray longer than expected in church service. The youths of this generation are people in a fast lane and can easily get bored with long messages. They prefer you go straight to the point. If you must take so much time, then ensure to be interesting or have words that will glue them to their seats and have their attentions.
More so, aside the message, the service time should be convenient for all. The preacher must understand that the kinds of members he/she has that way he/she can employ techniques that will suits everyone.
In conclusion, preachers must understand the type of youths and members they have in their church so as to know how to keep them and maintain their faithfulness in Christ. Know the kind of messages you preach, ensure not to dwell in messages the world wants to hear alone, also ensure to draw the attention of your members especially the youths of this generation on the coming of Christ and how it is important to live right before God and men. For man is the God you do not see.