Grandma Nooma: the other side

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?

Stylized

Am I the only one surprised that it is currently fashionable to wear jeans with holes in them? I find myself unusually fixated with the idea that society has accepted this absurd notion of fashion. Could we get a more real life example of the children’s tale “The emperor’s new clothes”?
Really!? Holes in the clothing before you ever wear them? Clothes you buy new but look old? It’s not that I have a moral objection to them. There were people in the Bible with holes in their clothes. Just remember they were poor people. Yeah that’s right, Poor. I went there. In the ultimate quest for fashionable originality we have reduced ourselves to the appearance of poverty. We all look cool but we all look poor.
Do I have a pair of these jeans with holes? Absolutely! I have several and I am wearing a pair as I write this. I like jeans with holes in them. I won’t in 3 years. At that time I will be wearing tight jeans reflecting on how ridiculous the holes in these jeans were. The holey jeans will be as ridiculous as the baggy jeans that were so popular in the 90’s. Because let’s be honest holes are out and tight jeans are in. AAAHHG! It’s tough to keep up.

Fashion changes. Styles change. And unfortunately I feel the current generation is all too familiar with this change. You can’t keep a computer, pair of jeans, or shoes for more than a few years. Updating is constantly with us. My fear is that we are too quick to update our religion as well.
I find an incessant need within some members of the church to be at the cutting edge of the newest and coolest movement, wave, or modern thing. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad they are searching. I’m just afraid for some that Jesus is not enough. He needs a side of whatever-is-cool-right-now.
I believe in change. Progress demands us to change. But are all these new ideas progress in the church? Or is it new for the sake of new? (or perhaps new for the sake of selling a book or album) Are we so used to changing the style in our jeans that we have to spice up our God too? Hey, I’m just asking. While progress may dictate change the message of Jesus needs neither progress nor change. It cannot be improved upon. It won’t get more exciting and it cannot be more relevant.
I hope that your search for Jesus continues with sincerity, relevance, and novelty. But if your theology changes for the same reasons as your jeans I suspect sooner or later you will find some holes.