Yesterday, I discussed the widening generation gap that we currently face in the church.
I gave an example from our men’s ministry; where we have men in their twenties and in their nineties. As the director of this ministry, I must reach both demographics and everything in between. Today, I bring you part two of this discussion. Before continuing with this post, I would suggest reading Part 1: “Is the Widening Generation Gap Dividing the Church? – Part 1“
I do believe the general consensus is that “with age comes wisdom.” The older a person gets, the stronger their ability to make the right decision in various situations. Yet, the conflicting motto of “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” constantly lingers.
Not that I have anything against our seniors, but I have found that within church settings, the latter motto often proves true.
One would deduce that maturity (and therefore increased wisdom) would give our seniors the ability (and desire), to make more of an effort in connecting with and relating to younger generations. I firmly believe if the older could take the step to invest in the younger, we’d see amazing growth.
Unfortunately, many of our churches are treated like property, in which those who have had the longest claim, rule according to their preferences. Of course, each demographic clique points at each other, which doesn’t help either party.
“If they could only have a little bit more respect for the House of God!“
“If they could only gain a hint of relevancy!“
So, what’s the result of this stalemate? Younger generations are abandoning the churches they grew up in. Either to plant new churches that reach their demographics or abandon organized church entirely.
Last Sunday, like many Canadians, I got together with a bunch of people to watch the Grey Cup. During the half-time show, we all were bewildered by a band called “Marianas Trench“, who looked punk, but who sounded like a boy-band. For a guy who grew up with authentic punk rock, it almost physically hurt me to watch.
Then it hit me like a tonne of bricks; “this is where it starts!“
I’m 33 and my preferences are being locked in and I’m already discounting what the teens of today are going to want to experience. Granted, I’m not saying these guys are regular church folk, but they might be some day.
As I watched, my mind was swimming. “What if these guys end up on our worship team in ten years? What if they want this style of music for worship? Would I be okay with that? I need to be okay with that!“
Today is the day. I at 33 years of age, commit to bridging the gap. For those of you who may know me in my 80’s, mark this down. I refuse to allow personal preference break my spirit to serve. Regardless of what I may think church should look like, I will continually strive to invest in the generations to come.
Who’s with me?
How has the widening generation gap divided your church?