The living church is constantly challenged to stay in tune with the culture it tries to reach. This can be a burden. How do we remain true to the Bible we’ve properly hallowed while adapting to new things which bring perpetual disturbance to the patterns of the long-term members?
An immediate problem arises when the established church puts a learning freeze on the Bible and then maintains a protectionism of the thirty-five verses it prefers. This is dishonest and much of practicing Christianity is just that.
This brings me to the 25 year olds and younger. Their bent is experiential. This factor is why American Idol has the viewers text their vote ultimately deciding the winner. Today’s younger generation wants in on the action. One may note cable news systems asking for your text in response to a question. Experiential.
This is a huge challenge to the “sit still and be quiet” established church when truly wishing to draw today’s young. To them, church has no experience except one: pure boredom. We churches need to get a grip on this dilemma because it isn’t the culture that needs to adjust. The church of the Bible is anything but dull. It is robust, surprising, mysterious, and often noisy. The church of Christ was the most happening place in the community. Such isn’t the case now. We have studied and organized ourselves into “the” most boring venue on our streets. Often a hives outbreak causes more community response.
If you happen to be one who truly ponders how to bring life to your congregation, a start would be to bring life to your congregation. Put life into it. Quit focusing upon order so much and avail activity (experience) to your membership. God’s people are basically creative but some churches stifle the gifts within. Sit down, be quiet, and say amen is not the picture of the early church. Maybe we should change us.
One hint as to a thing to do to create new life: we asked our local elementary school if they would like to come to our church one Wednesday night before their “Holiday Program” (Christmas) to practice on us. They jump at the chance every year. The guests outnumber us! Parents, grandparents, and neighbors pour in to see their princes and princesses perform. We are on alert to connect with all of these guests during coffee and cookies afterward. It’s just one way of seeing life stir where we live…..and we love it!