I have just spent 24 hours with about 250 young leaders in the PCUSA. Our time together was heavy on prayer, scripture, and conversation. I’ve been reflecting on what seems to matter to other young leaders as they consider future ministry inside/outside of the PCUSA.
Several themes emerged:
- It’s about relationships. In Presbyteries where there are healthy relationships young evangelical ministers are much less likely to be dissatisfied or to contemplate distancing themselves from the denomination (either by affiliating with the Fellowship of Presbyterians or leaving for the New Reformed Body).
- It’s about integrity. My sense is, regardless of staying or going, young evangelical ministers are making principled decisions. Their reasons for staying or going all seem to be theologically sound and rooted in the desire to be faithful to their vows both within the context of the PCUSA and in the context of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
- It’s about mission. Younger evangelical leaders care deeply about aligning the communal life of their congregations with the purposes of God in the world. They’re not as concerned that the medium for that participation be a denominationally endorsed mission or initiative. Unlike other parts of the church, most younger evangelical ministers believe that the changes in ordination standards and the form of government are actually detrimental to being a missional congregation.
These are my observations. What do you think?