Church is fun and exciting! This is my recollection of the church when I was at youth group in Korea. Church was 'our' place to hang out. We had a sense of ownership for the church. We put our efforts and minds together to make our church a better place to serve God.
We rallied for church renewal and formed our own prayer support group. We sponsored fun events and enjoyed the lively discussions at book club. We even published the literary magazine, the collection of our own writings of religious thoughts and struggles. I still own the copy we made when I was in junior high. It is the snapshot of my heart and struggles at the time, including my wishes for the future wife ^^.
I treasure the memories I made with church friends. We dreamed of God and shared the vision with each other. When I was at youth group in Korea, church was 'ours' Church was a special home for our hearts. Church was our playground, the resting place of our souls, and a dream castle.
However, a situation is quite different in first generation immigrant church. Church-raised youth have found their immigrant churches irrelevant. Their attitude toward the church is that church is more for my parents. They are inactive and unenthusiastic about church activities. They often withdraw themselves from taking ownership and accountability at church. It has been burdening in my heart to see them spiritually dormant at church.
I am determined to change this. I want to turn our church from 'parent 's church' to 'our children's church'! I had this passion since I was a children group's pastor, and this passion has settled into belief once I became a senior pastor. However, the reality of first-generation immigrant church does not support that. The language barrier within the church alienates youth. For young generations who want to be successful in America, Korean church does not give satisfying experience because it is often isolated from mainstream America culture. And that itself gives them enough reason to leave the church.
I want youth and children to own this church. And our church is taking important steps to this irection. The weekly church bulletin is being translated into English to educate them about the church's vision. I want to see parents and their children to walk together toward the same vision.
How wonderful it would be that one day, we yield the main sanctuary to youth and children for Sunday service! Please pray and help in this vision.