Friday, September 13, 2013

Old People in Young People's Clothing

I used to be quite keen to go to a church consisting of mostly older people and lend a hand, help bring down the average age of members etc.

That was my younger, more na├»ve self.

I know there are lovely older folk out there who genuinely love youth and wish to encourage them.  But there are others who, although they may crow loudly that they want more 'young ones' in their congregation, are not keen to accommodate the younger generation.

Basically they want old people in young people's clothing.

They want to be able to say that they have youth and young families in their midst, but they remain essentially a club for old people.  There might be young people there but they don't get a say in how the church moves forward, they aren't being trained for leadership positions, and their 'radical' opinions are seen as a wanting to get rid of a few hymns for instance.

The church remains run by the oldies, for the oldies, and the 'young ones' are expected to just go with it.

I don't want to ever be a part of a church like that.  I want to meet with people who want to grow...both in number and maturity.  I don't want to be a part of a stale, irrelevant church that exists to just have a sing-song amongst themselves and be wonderfully welcoming to each other, but not reach out to the world around them.

When I talk about change, I don't mean compromising the gospel or watering down aspects of the Christian faith that are offensive to the world.  I mean removing stumbling blocks that would prevent unchurched people coming along to church.  I remember what it was like to be a non-Christian.  It can be scary stepping into a church where everyone is dressed up in suits and ties, sings songs that are in Shakespearean type language and make no sense, and nothing, like the Lord's Supper or prayer, is explained to the outsider.

There are many old, stale churches out there who can't understand why no-one wants to join them, yet they don't want to listen or change on disputable matters.

1 comment:

Mark Edwards said...


one way to bring about transformative real change is to talk about their grandchildren. They want them in church. how will that happen? Only if they let go and allow real change.