When the church gathers on Sabbath morning, you never know who may be listening. Not all the listeners are inside the building if the worship service is being streamed online.

Rachel Williams, a Gen Z young adult and a leader in the Cedaredge Adventist Church, looked into the faces of the worshipers as she began her Feb. 18 sermon, “Preparing, Not Fearing.” She could see that they related as she shared questions she had from her own experiences, like an ill-fated mountain climb in Alaska, and answers she had discovered from her search in God’s Word. 

Rachel identified fear as something resulting from life’s “rough patches” and “everyday problems” as well as concerns about a future “time of trouble.” She said we must not minimize trouble, but face it with the faith of Jesus.

At Rachel’s invitation, the sermon took the form of a dialog. She asked the congregation to respond to two questions in turn. First, “The faith of Jesus, what does it look like to you?” And then, more personally, “What does you having the faith of Jesus look like?”

A church member’s Millennial grandson from out of town was in church. He told his grandfather that he enjoyed the interactive discussion. And he confided that it could be applied in his own life.

After church, one Boomer said the sermon was “a home run!” And a Gen-Xer agreed.

As the congregational dialog was going on, another Millennial slipped into a pew. The highlight, among highlights of worship, was when he said he had been watching online and had to come to join the conversation. He stayed for lunch.

The preacher of the day, Rachel, observed, “Churches, no matter how small, need to consider putting their services online, because you do not know how many people might want to watch.” Or maybe show up.