So is the traditional church style exempt from generational examination? Here we go.
After the article Nooma Grandma was posted I received a barrage of emails with a similar theme: The progressive/modern/postmodern/emergent style churches are not the only ones guilty of limited age connection. I agree.
Churches who have bucked and at times criticized the emergent, postmodern, or progressive movements have seen success in retaining an older demographic. How have they faired among the youth?
Not much better than the former has with the older generation. Go to a self proclaimed “Old Fashion” church and what will you see? Is there a vibrant community of all-aged worshippers? Unfortunately many times there is not.
Now I mistakenly did not qualifying in the article Nooma Grandma and I will not repeat that mistake. So here is the qualifier: Not every church that considers itself traditional has failed at reaching 20 and 30 somethings. (Not every progressive church has failed in the mature member category.)
However there must be some admission that traditional models have struggled to reach younger generations. The amount of 20 and 30 somethings in traditional churches is dropping. Some would be quick to blame the young generation for abandoning the faith. But you have to wonder, has the traditional church abandoned a generation?
Has traditionalism, dare I say fundamentalism, had short comings in its abilities to reach a generation that interacts socially through entirely new medias? Are the internet, Facebook, and TV only instruments of the world and the Devil or can they be used for the kingdom? ( I know my Dad’s years on television were helpful to many)
Truly the problem runs both ways. Regardless of the predominant style/methodology of your church, concessions should be made to accommodate all members or potential members of the body of Christ. As a church leader or member you have the opportunity to accommodate or separate. Too often traditional Churches have raced to the later.
At times accommodating is considered sinful. Some churches refuse to change graphics, update the auditorium, talk to people because they have buckles on their shoes (true story) but, love suffers long and is kind, it is not easily provoked and does not think evil.
I am not talking about sacrificing doctrine, forgetting the old paths, becoming theologically liberal. I am talking about style and methodology. Whether traditional or contemporary every church has a style. And that style must be constructed to be Biblically appropriate while crossing generational barriers.
Grandma can be cool with Nooma if grandma will watch with an open mind.
Do you feel your church has succeeded in bridging the age gap? Any ideas on how this can be done?