I went to church twice today. I went to the morning service, and then I went to a memorial service for an elderly congregant who recently passed on. I did the latter to show support for her son, who has always been nice to me whenever I have come to church.
theme that was in my mind in both services was young people in the
church. In the morning service, an elderly gentleman (who sits in front
of me) was lamenting the lack of young people in the church, and he was
noting that the church needs more young people because they are the
ones who will provide the church with a future.
the funeral, there was a well-dressed young person who was talking
about the lady who had passed on. He said that he was dressed nicely,
but that he one time visited the church wearing a T-shirt. The young
man broke down crying as he related that the lady came up to him and
said that God didn't care what he was wearing, since God was happy when
he just showed up. That incident obviously meant something to him. But
it must have occurred before I started coming to the church over two
years ago, since today is the only time that I saw him at my church.
don't really want to write a post about millennials in the church. I
didn't write a post about that topic when it was abuzz in the
blogosphere. I just kept on writing my perfunctory Nixon posts! The
reason I didn't write about millennials in the church was that, quite
frankly, I don't know how to attract young people to church. Some say
churches should let young people wear what they want to church, whereas
others claim that churches that promote reverence for God through
dressing up can draw more people by showing that they take God
seriously. Some say that the church should be hipper----that it should
have rock music, that the pastor should use pop-cultural references,
etc. Others take offense at any notion that young people are that
shallow, saying that churches of substance can draw young people.
complaints by young people about church are, in my humble opinion,
quite offensive. I one time read an article complaining that churches
are like retirement communities. That sort of ageism makes me sick. If
churches are to adapt to people with this type of prejudice, what
exactly has the church gained?
a young person want to come to my church? Well, a young person should
feel welcome there: it's a friendly place, the pastor is humble and is
not on a power-trip, the sermons focus on Christian living and God's
love rather than controversial political issues, etc. The thing is, I
think that it's set in its ways. Many in the church are over fifty,
including the pastor, and so his cultural references in his sermons and
the music often cater to people over fifty. I happen not to mind that
myself because I'm a TV Land, old movie, and history buff. When my
pastor told a story about Howard Hughes, I knew who that was (due to my
reading about Nixon)! But I doubt that many young people would get the
references. At the same time, I wouldn't want for my pastor to be
someone he's not, just to fit someone's definition of "cool". I cannot
picture my pastor coming to church in tight jeans and with colored hair!