(Thoughts and reflections as I watched the General Conference Annual Council 2017.)
It happened when I was pastoring a smaller church in a large metropolitan area. We had a growing number teens and young adults in that church--but most of them weren't involved in church beyond weekend attendance.
Silvia and I invited this growing group of young people to a social evening. At some point in the evening I asked these teens and young adults why they weren't involved more. They responded that the "old people did everything" and they "felt judged if they did it any way but the way it has always been done."
So I asked them what they wanted. They wanted inspiring music--not just hymns (yes, even in the early 2000s, some church were still singing hymns, and this church was still using the 1941 edition of the SDA church hymnal--not even the 1985 copy!) They wanted to be involved in worship. At that time, my church had two elders and they always accompanied me on the platform. One did the offering appeal--the other the morning prayer. Next week, they traded. And they wanted more social activities. And they had quite a simple list of things that most Adventist churches had addressed a decade before.
"In that case," I responded, "why don't all of you who are baptized come to the next church business meeting and make it happen?"
"The adults won't let us..." one said.
"They will contradict us and overrule us..." said another.
"I don't know," I told them. "Not many people come out to church business meetings."
I am finally publishing the results of my own, unscientific survey on reasons why the Adventist church sometimes feels less evangelistic today. The history of this comes from reading an article from Thom Rainier where he asked why churches aren't as evangelistic as they once were. I wanted to know what Adventists thought about these responses and others. At the bottom are 14 of the top reasons Rainier got in his Twitter survey, and how they resonated with those who follow my blog. I've taken four of the statements that stood out to me and highlighted them first. While some results didn't surprise me, others were rather astonishing. I'd be interested in your thoughts and comments after reading them.