Jesus sends his disciples out “like lambs in the midst of wolves.” We live in a time when intimacy is erased, privacy laughable, rhetoric rude and rusty. The notion of going out as lambs to wolves is apt, even if the wolves and lambs may be interchangeable.
What do young people look for in church? In research done in 250 congregations among people ages 15–29, respondents repeatedly said they were looking for congregations that were “welcoming, accepting, belonging, authentic, hospitable, and caring.” The researchers began to call this set of concerns the “warmth cluster.” Worship bands and ministry programs are not a priority, nor is busyness. Even “niceness” doesn’t work with young people. What they apparently seek at church is a sense of family, which calls for intergenerational relationships (Washington Post, September 6).