What about Moderns?

It seems like so much of my life is spent trying to help the older people in my church understand the younger. How you can’t just open up the doors and expect people to come to church. How church is not even on the list of important things for most people. How younger people desire a different type of music. How younger people lack the denominational loyalty. How they desire things that are authentic rather than cool programs.

But this past week has made me think that I don’t spend very much space in my postmodern mind towards understanding the modern people in my church. I say things like “That’s just how they are” or even worse, “they’re just old”. Yeah, I admit and confess to having said that.

For the older people in my congregation, church is more than just a building to them. Right or wrong, that is how they feel, and there is probably not anything that will happen to change their mind. Many of them have lived in the same home, gone to the same church, shopped at the same places for much of their life. To them, the church building is important. Not because they believe the ground is any more holy, or that God is there and nowhere else. But because of the time that they have spent there. Because of the memories that they have made there. Because they remember seeing lives change at that altar. Some got married there. Some buried sons and daughters and husbands and wives there. The church is important to them. That is how they operate.


I live in a postmodern age, but the people that I deal with sometimes are very modern. They will always be. That is who they are. I cannot tell them that they cannot ask the younger people to change the way that they are to accommodate the older people, and then turn around and tell them that they need to change in order to accommodate the younger people.

So it seems like I am stuck having to walk this line of merging these two worlds, at least while I have both these types of people in my congregation. There will reach a time when I might have only postmodern people. But that time is not now. So I must merge these two worlds. Only with God’s help.

Comments

Anonymous said…
that's one thing that i think is great about the Bible. it's survived through so many philosophical shifts yet is still relevant. this shift (postmodernism) seems to be more difficult because we have to question everything and seemingly shed the traditions/beliefs of everyone that came before us. being the student of history that i am, i think there really is no way for anyone to totally rid themselves of their past, but what we can do is not define ourselves in "those terms," but again, every successive generation was tried to redefine themselves with only words and not necessarily their actions. that's the role i think the Bible is supposed to play, or at least could play, in this shift. there's nothing wrong with questioning everything as long as you have a completely open mind. previous men of faith knew they could stand before God and say, "why this? why now?" God doesn't have to answer, and that irks people, but God is an orderly, logic being, at least in some respects to our understanding of order and logic. we have to show the Bible in a new light emphasizing action (missions) without taking things out of context.

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