Willow Creek's "Axis - Next Gen Ministry" Closed
- By Sam George
- Published 10/26/2006
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there a thing called generation gap? How will that affect how ministry is done and recieved in churches? Should there be a generation thrust in ministry or will faith supercede generational differences. This is particularly critical in immigrant churches.
The “church within a church” model is something that I had suggested among the many other models of ministry in the Coconut Book for immigrant churches.
Not necessarily, this will work for all churches. One of the pioneers of this model, Willow Creek Church closed its next generation ministry called Axis in July 2006 after 10 years. Read Willow’s announcement and Leadership Journal Blog (Axis Denied) and readers responses.
I do not know what transpired behind the scenes, but I was talking with next generation leader about ending of Axis ministry. May be it became victim of its own success. Everything that Willow tries gets lots of attention in the Christian media. Or Willows other ministry stratagies like multisite (”churches around a church” undermining “church within a church”) or neighborhood (home church model) came in the way of next gen ministry.
Whatever be the case, there is much to learn for those who research, study and involved in ministry to the emerging generations. He who have ears, let him hear!