Generation Y Meets The Church

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I would want to commend this film produced by Luke Middleton which grapples with why so many of Generation Y (students and twenties!) are not interested in the church and what we should do about it. We need to be giving much more attention to these issues, not just with regards to Generation Y but also other generations (Generation X, baby boomers, Saga generation etc.) as well as different ethnic groups and social classes. The UK is now a mission field and as a church we are seeking to develop effective strategies to communicate the good news of Jesus in relevant ways to all the people of Luton and beyond.

Tony Thompson – Hope Church Leader

I’m currently studying a Masters in Documentary at the local campus of the University of Bedfordshire on a Scholarship. I truly believe God was behind everything being available at the right time for me to do the course. For my recent film assignment I was encouraged to create a film that I was interested in and wanted to make. The idea flowed of investigating the decline in church and interest in christianity from people my age, longing to see my Generation saved. Restricted by it being a short documentary I had to interview people I knew would give a good and relevant view to the subject but I also wanted to challenge viewers and hopefully have done that. The process of making this film has helped me think about many things associated with the need for the gospel in this age group and the unsaved Generation Y in this nation. I hope it will inspire you and help you to think innovatively and creatively about how we can spread the gospel. Join the discussion and tweet me @gen_y_church

Luke Middleton – Filmmaker

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Watch the Film Below

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Catalyst Festival 2013 Reviews

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Catalyst Festival was an amazing weekend of meeting with God, hearing great and challenging teaching and a fair amount of relaxing in the sun. Even the rain on the last day couldn’t dampen the festival atmosphere in the main hall where various marquees hosted different zones with a variety of specific focuses from social action to creative zones (must try that next year).

It was encouraging to hear what is happening around the nations through interviews on the main stage. I personally was particularly impacted by Mike Pilavachi’s preach on the Monday evening. He spoke about how God loves community and how Father, Son and Holy Spirit are community and the world is waiting to see a church who is committed to being living community as one.

On the Tuesday morning during the worship, the Holy Spirit gave me a fresh revelation of the beauty of his kingdom and how beautiful and different it was. The worship was talking of God’s kingdom coming down to Earth and I have come back with a fresh passion to live kingdom his way, being part of a community of love and acceptance. Reaching out to people in Luton, where there is such a large amount of people with brokenness and loneliness in their lives, I hope we can bring the blessing of God’s community to them.

Theresa Middleton

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Can I honestly say I was looking forward to camping in the uk with 2 young children at Catalyst this year? Well I was pleasantly suprised! It was a great time of invisioning, building with friends, catching the bigger picture and even enjoying some sun! My wife and I were so impressed with the kids work, both for our 3 year old and the creche for our younger son. Both had been really well thought out, engaging our children while teaching them to enjoy God through music, play, etc… Highlights for me were the Mike Pilavachi talk in youth (which I sneaked in to!), I found him so humble, powerful, humorous and authentic about the Holy Spirit. My favourite quote from him ‘I don’t know why God has decided to use me, I’m just a big, fat, hairy, greek!’ The other highlight for me was definately Dave Devenish’s ‘Double Portion’ where I really felt I received a fresh filling and commissioning. Overall a brilliant and well organised event, I was’nt even put off by putting down my tent in the rain! looking forward to the next one.

Dave Ives

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Before Cornelius could be converted Peter had to be converted

The timing within the book of Acts isn’t always obvious, however a little work on it can unearth some interesting facts.

For example, just before he ascended Jesus told his disciples “ you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1v8

Ten years later they had only been witnesses to Jews, despite what Jesus had told them. This begs the question why? I suspect it was because they assumed that, as at the day of Pentecost, the ends of the earth would come to Jerusalem where they would first become Jews before becoming followers of Christ.

The first person to witness to a gentile was Peter when he shared the gospel to Cornelius as recorded in Acts 10. This didn’t just happen, Peter had to first be converted.

Clearly Peter was already a spirit filled believer but he still had the wrong mindset, focusing just on Jews. Not seeing things as God saw them. He needed to be “converted” to God’s way of seeing things.

God gave Peter a vision three times of a blanket coming down from heaven with “unclean animals on it”, he was told in the vision to kill and eat. He was told to not call anything God had made unclean. Whilst pondering the vision the Spirit tells Peter to go with the men who are downstairs because God had sent them. This leads Peter to do all sorts of things he wouldn’t normally do – which leads to the conversion of Cornelius and the Gentiles.

As soon as he was converted he saw the men waiting. Without the conversion he wouldn’t have seen the opportunity.

I believe this is a prophetic word to the church today. For us the big mission field in the UK is unchurched people, those for whom Christianity is a foreign language and the church is an alien culture, rather than gentiles. (See previous blog)

For generations we have been witnessing to those brought up in church. There has been a rapid decline in the number of those brought up in church; we need to reach out beyond this fish pond. However I find same reticence in today’s church to witness to unchurched people as in the early church to witness to gentiles. I have therefore concluded that we need to be converted before we can convert the unchurched!

We can put structures in place, exhort people, but unless God does something in people’s hearts, as he did in Peter’s, then nothing will change.

As a church we are putting in place groups with clarity of purpose, groups to witness to youth, students and twenties, families, active retired people and many others; however without conversion we will continue to just focus on our needs rather than witness to unchurched people.

I believe that once we are converted will see the opportunities, like Peter did. Suddenly we will find “men downstairs waiting for us”, people whom God had already been working in their lives. (See previous blog)

WRITTEN BY TONY THOMPSON

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Tony is an Elder at Hope Church Luton and part of the Leadership team.

He works full time for the church and is married to Anne and they have 2 sons.