We are having a HEAT WAVE--with no relief in sight. Actually it's supposed to cool off to 95 by next Sunday. On my way home from Birmingham late Saturday afternoon the outside heat indicator in my car read 103. You get the message--we're having a HEAT WAVE.
Last week was special. I spoke twice about older adult ministry to two different groups and about two different aspects of the ministry. The second was a workshop I led for a two presbytery leadership training event in Birmingham. What was interesting is that the keynote speaker was there to talk about youth and young adult ministry. She talked Friday night about the postmodern era, how youth view the church as irrelevant and what needs to be done. The really interesting thing to me is how often when the irrelevance of the church is addressed the blame is mainly put on worship. A young man who was part of the dialogue said the only time he ever heard organ music is at church and then asked the question, "What is a doxology anyhow?" I understand there is a problem. Worship wars are not new and there are no easy answers.
My workshop addressed the "graying church" and the implications for ministry now and in the future. Here are my questions: is it appropriate/considerate/wise to strip worship services of all the familiar elements to please one group who are turned off by them or is it appropriate/considerate/wise to refuse to change anything and thus limit opportunities to share the message of Christ? I had planned to mention worship styles in my workshop, but after Friday night decided it was a topic that needed more than a mention. A wise woman pastor in the group brought up the words of Jesus that say: "Greater love has no one than he/she lay down his/her life for a friend." Her point? We all need to ask ourselves if there are things (traditions) that we are unwilling to lay down so that others may hear the good news of the gospel. The question works for all ages and is food for thought.
In my opinion church leaders need to informed about the development stages of all ages; they need to understand the worlds where both our younger and older friends live. Both groups have gifts; both have needs. People in both are made in the image of God.