The first meeting is almost a disaster with Gordon and the group. It begins with everyone just blurting out all their struggles with the church (a reminder here is that the group consists of mostly older people who are mostly against all the changes occurring in the church).
Here is a short list of the issues that this group names in the first meeting:
- Pastors should wear a suit and a tie. You honor God by dressing nice.
- Losing the prayer service on Wednesday night was the biggest blunder so far.
- Sunday school classes are important for spiritual growth.
- Young people don’t know the Bible.
- There must be a choir and hymns.
- Young people do not tithe well.
- The music is too loud.
I’m sure some of you can relate with any number of these things. Others of you don’t see any of these things as issues. Wherever you stand, these issues are real and real people struggle with them every time they go to church.
I think far too often my generation wants to go off and start their own church geared towards young people instead of trying to bridge a gap with this older generation. Instead of discussing these issues they take the easy road and join together with those who think like them. I’ve heard many people say that finding a good youth pastor is harder now because most youth pastors can just go off and start their own “emerging” church.
I read a blog a while back that said church cannot be all things to all people. I understand the point, it does make some sense. But really, that person was just advocating for churches being split up by tastes, style, and age, and the problem is that we lose the community aspect of it. Now some will say that community is a group of people. I say community is not a bunch of people who are all alike spending time together. We must learn to work together. Family isn’t one age group and it isn’t one style. Family takes a lot of work.
Before going on…I wonder: How would you reach out to the older generation here? They’ve stated their issues and struggles. Do you give up or do you try to bridge the gap? What do you say?
Tomorrow I’ll share a little about how Gordon tries to defuse the situation.
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