CHURCH IN 2020
I find the following quote, from an article on Fox Business, to be highly interesting: “...10,000 Baby Boomers turn age 65 each day in the U.S.” That tells me there are a whole lot of people out there who are moving into the Senior Citizen category. It seems to me that many churches and politicians have forgotten this reality, instead focusing almost their entire message toward a younger generation. And I understand the challenge facing the church, in general, and specifically our church. The older generation is fading, and we must have younger people to take the helm. Still, do we ignore older people? I recognize that most of the giving in our churches comes from the older members. Maybe a big factor with this is they were taught to give and tithe, while this has been neglected in the raising of a younger group? Of note, I’ve seen the online videos of the church shooting and subsequent killing of the shooter, at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas. And I note several things, like thank God this congregant was armed and a good shot, and maybe armed security in a church is not such a bad idea. But did you notice the makeup of the congregation? It appears to be almost exclusively older adults.
My thinking is that we do not want to exclusively be any age group as a church. A healthy church should run the full spectrum of ages. And we should do our best, and pay the price with adapting and changing as would be biblical and necessary, to move in such direction. I ask you, whoever you may be and wherever you may find yourself as you sit and read this article, are you willing to adapt in order to be the most useful church for God’s purpose and glory? I remember, a few years back, preaching a couple of sermons while having my notes and scriptures on an electronic tablet. My reasoning was that an electronic Bible is every bit as much the word of God as a leather bound book. Well, some folks had a real problem with it. “Where’s your Bible?” “That’s not a Bible!” It did not come across very well with several people! And remember when we experimented with a couple of Sunday morning services without a pulpit? Some became so upset they decided not to come back to worship until we rearranged the sanctuary to their satisfaction. Personally I do not think Jesus or the Apostle Paul ever proclaimed the spoken Word of God behind a big wooden lectern, and I am pretty sure that millions of Christians world-wide manage to worship without pulpits every Sunday. But to keep peace, of course, I brought back the pulpit!
Being God’s church in this lost and dying world is not foremost to format a Sunday morning gathering according to my preferences. It surely is not to demand that those around me look and act and think like me. To get precise about the matter, being a Christian has little to do with what I like or want. It is all about Jesus and what He wants. Jesus wants old people to come to know and love the Lord. And, young people too. God wants us to reach those with church backgrounds, and those who know nothing about the traditional ways of churches. Right? Sometimes we have to grow, change, adapt for such things to best happen. We must love Jesus and others more than we love tradition. And I know it is not easy!