Dear Peachtree Family,
Fewer Americans are identifying as Christians. In the short span of seven years (2007–2014), the percentage declined from 78% to 71%.
Congregations are aging. While 18–29 year olds comprise 22% of the population, they represent only 10% of church attendance nationwide. Among high school seniors who are part of their youth group in a church, roughly half of them will leave the faith after they graduate. This statistic keeps me up at night.
While the numbers are bleak, Kara Powell of Fuller Seminary has performed extensive research on finding some bright spots of churches who are bucking the trend of decline. In her book, Growing Young, she reports that it is not the size of the church, a trendy location, a particular denomination, an entertaining ministry program, or a watered-down teaching style that translates to a congregation that connects with the next generation.
One of the cornerstone claims of the book includes the catchphrase “warm is the new cool.” The exhausting treadmill of perpetual relevance pales in comparison to belonging and acceptance. This is why genuine hospitality is so critical. It gets past the superficial niceness of attending programs and helps us to become a family to one another.
So, don’t forget to sign up for our hospitality training by the Disney Institute. We have less than 100 spots left of the 500-person limit. Sign up here. Making connections is a spiritual practice not to be neglected, and the Bible says that when we do so “we entertain angels without even knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).
With hope in Christ,