The Calling/Episode 34 | 47 min
How Lee Kricher Made His Aging Church Young Again

A church’s life may depend upon its ability to pass the torch of faith to future generations of believers—but when young people stop walking through the sanctuary doors, does that mean it’s time for a church to reinvent itself?

That’s the question at the heart of Lee Kricher’s latest bookFor a New Generation: A Practical Guide for Revitalizing Your Church. As the senior pastor of Amplify Church in Pittsburgh, Kricher managed a difficult feat: Starting in 2003, he helped turn a congregation that was aging into extinction into what he calls a “new generation church”—a church whose congregants’ average age now matches the average age of its surrounding community. Now, he’s doing what he can to help other churches evaluate their programs, ministries, and practices with fresh eyes fixed on giving young people a place before the altar.

On this week’s episode of The Calling, CT managing editor Richard Clark joins Kricher for a conversation about how churches can create a compelling space for young people without sacrificing the integrity of the gospel they preach.

On how to keep a church from dying out: “I don’t think it’s a matter of prayer or sincerity. I don’t think that the church as a whole lacks a heart for God or a heart for wanting people to know him. I think it’s a matter of saying, ‘Hey, let’s deal with the realities that we’re surrounded with.’”

On the danger of digging your heels in: “If the next generation rejects the message of Christ, may God have mercy on them. But if they reject the message of Christ because we have assumed that they must accept it within the context of our preferred approach to church, then may God have mercy on us.”

On young visitors’ feedback: “It’s not like people were picketing out front: ‘Why don’t you reach us?’ The young people had already told us that we lost touch with them. They left.”

On “elevating your standards”: “There’s a gap—not between what you’re doing and what another church is doing, but between what you’re doing and what you could be doing. That’s the gap that we must be really committed to close.”

Subscribe to The Calling on iTunes.

The Calling is produced by Richard Clark and Cray Allred.

Theme music by Lee Rosevere, used under Creative Commons 4.0.

May
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueBearing Burdens After Obamacare
Bearing Burdens After Obamacare Subscriber Access Only
The future of Christian health care sharing.
RecommendedCover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church
Cover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel ChurchSubscriber Access Only
Some visitors claim to be healed. Others claim to receive direct words from God. Is it 'real'--or dangerous?
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickThe Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam—It’s Us
The Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam—It’s Us
A leading Nigerian theologian believes the real danger to Christianity in Africa is in the church.
View this article in Reader Mode
Christianity Today
How Lee Kricher Made His Aging Church Young Again
hide this This premium article was unlocked for you by a CT subscriber.
Subscribe now and get every issue.

Spread the love: Use the share icons below to unlock this article for a friend.