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The pastor of a large church sat down with the kids in their youth ministry and said, "I want you to be honest. Tell me what you think about your church."

After some hesitation they said, "This is not our church."

He was floored; these kids had grown up in that church. "What do you mean this is not your church?"

"This is our parents' church. This is you-all's church. We come and do some things that are okay, but it's not our church."

Most older Christians would be surprised to learn how young people really feel about the church. Many young people feel the older ones don't care. If young people are going to own their faith, we must help them see the church as their own.

When I came to Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in 1994, we had some 200 people, three-quarters of them over 50, and less than 10 teenagers active in the ministry. I decided right away I needed to motivate our senior saints to make the sacrifices necessary to reach out.

The first task? To make sure each member understood ...

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