Hi everyone, thanks so much for your interest in my previous blogpost: Why Filipino Young People Leave Traditional Christian Denominations.
I may have hit on a palpable pain point in the church. But not surprisingly, hindi lang United Methodist Church ang may ganitong problema. I heard from several friends and other online connections na nasa ibang churches about their own problem of young people leaving traditional churches in favor of the CF’s.
I just feel compelled to provide a disclaimer: I love the United Methodist Church and this is an attempt to understand why young people are leaving the church. We need to have honest conversations about faith and spirituality. In the end, this is a question of ministry and loving people.
With that said, I am posting several reactions to the post last week. This one is from a former UMYF leader who is still within the UMC, but who actively attends one of the CF’s in Metro Manila. I changed some of the details of the story below, but I believe it reflects a lot of the realities that young Methodists face.
Please comment in a civilized manner. I will not tolerate rude, condescending, or any comment that will not help in understanding this matter. You can express surprise, hurt, or any emotion you may feel in reaction to this post, but do so in love and respect. – Mighty
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image credit: TheGospelCoalition.org
Right now, I still help out in the UMYFP in our district somewhere in the Manila Episcopal Area. I still serve our local church. But here in Manila, I am active in _CF Makati & Sundays at _CF Ubelt.
When I went to college in the España U-Belt area, I was active in the Upperbox Ministry of Central UMC and with the Vesper Choir. This was my inactive years in UMYF back home due to distance & my study schedule.
Honestly, all I desired was to serve God & people. I didn’t have personal devotion time and even a discipleship group which really focuses on my spiritual walk like the set-up of the 12 apostles, Paul & Timothy.
I was seriously drained, and there came a major blow in my life that I hit rock bottom, I was physically alone battling that struggle. So I asked for help from one of my UMYF friends who iwas already active in _CF. From that time on, i was refueled & revived.
2. Foundational Confirmation classes, SCYD & institutes are a general approach with a blur on the results if an individual will decide to have a Jesus-centered & Bible-based life.
Right now, what i learned from _CF in terms of individual discipleship, I try to implement and integrate with my UMYF friends one step at a time. I specifically minister by engaging and empowering leaders based on their individual needs/skills/stories.
Traditional churches like the UMC have become bureaucratic institutions, sadly. With the UMC, our authority is based on the book of discipline & book of worship, not the Bible alone.
In CFs, it’s very simple, the Bible alone is the basis of behavior and ministry, period.
The political atmosphere is a major wall, but like Jericho’s, this generation can make that wall fall, it will be a long process but nothing is impossible with God.
4. Role Models and Persecution
The youth is the most persecuted group in the church. Other organizations and lay leaders in the church cannot handle the allegedly misbehavior of the young people, therefore they leave the place that should mend them & welcome their brokenness. Personally in our local church, the budget for the youth was cut off because the youth are perceived to “misbehave” and are “pasaway”, that the church does not trust them anymore compared to the previous batches of the UMYF.
In CF’s, brokenness or misbehavior is treated with love and compassion w/c was the example of Jesus Christ as he communed with sinners & prostitutes.
Honestly, a lot of our UMYFers have no role models anymore. Because even the workers are “misbehaving” in front of the youth.
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Over to you. Have you experienced the same things that Ms. M had? Are you also attending the UMC and at the same time attending a CF Church? Share your thoughts in the comments.