History doesn't advance in circles in the information age. The emergence of new things is changing the way we live.
Former shepherding approaches fail to meet the demands of this age. So discussing the shepherding work for post-1990s Christians has timely significance.
First of all, a campus fellowship should have its own vision or goal.
Determine the worth of existence for a fellowship.
One fellowship set up three visions at its founding: building members' lives on the truth, evangelism, and serving church.
The points sounded good, but trying to do everything resulted in doing nothing. It's enough for a fellowship to focus on one thing. Given the current situation, it's inappropriate and unrealistic for fellowships consisting of people born in the 1990s to share the Gospel publicly. Due to the high mobility of its members, the fellowship often causes trouble for its church. The best it can do is cooperate with the church arrangement in evangelism. Then what it can only do is help its congregation build their lives on God's word.
Unfortunately, there is no universal meeting model. All the fellowships still explore the best model.
In short, there are five types:
Traditional gatherings: members sings hymns, hear sermons, and pray together like traditional churches.
Activity-focused: the fellowship holds various kinds of activities during gatherings, like praise and worship concerts, games, outings, and picnics.
Lecture-focused: it often invites teachers to give lectures.
Non-organizational: young students organize services by themselves.
Comprehensive: containing all the types above
Its hard to fix the meeting model due to many factors. For example, the energy, capacity, and character of fellowship leaders; the energy and capacity of group leaders and staff; the gifts of the congregation, their number, and the level of speakers. The comprehensive model might be the best choice.
The fellowship's position
Is this fellowship conservative or open? The post-1990s generation doesn't care whether a church is registered or unregistered and which denomination it belongs to. They don't judge by labels, but by reason.
Under such circumstances, the fellowship's position matters.
One fellowship is very open, accepting believers from both TSPM churches and house churches and different denominations like the True Jesus Church, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
An ultra-conservative fellowship is a closed system and hardly keeps going. Post-90s Christians can't endure intolerance.
What fellowship members should become is a top priority for their pastor. In my opinion, my hope for my fellowship members is that they can have a dialogue with the society and become spokesmen for Christ on the earth.
So the pulpit messages in my fellowship cover traditional preaching, general social education, professional career planning, and vocational guidance.
In conclusion, a post-1990s generation fellowship should have a vision, a good meeting model, and an open standpoint. If the pastor is too conservative, consider if he is suitable to lead the fellowship.
Apart from the above aspects, fellowship nurturing comes down to creating a free and cheerful ambiance and providing palatable and nutritious pulpit messages.
Some post-90s believers suggest that they need an encyclopedic preacher who can face every question they ask, not pretending to know things he doesn't know, giving irrelevant answers, or giving empty talks. That may be the greatest challenge to nurture the 90s Christians at present.
- Translated by Karen Luo