From the Parsonage…
When I was young, going to church on Sunday morning was expected. It was one of those “good people do this” kinds of things, so even families who weren’t overly religious showed up faithfully each week. We put on our best clothes, sat in the pews, recited the creed, listened as the preacher read scripture, and sang songs from the hymn book. It was what you did on Sunday morning. The good part was that most of your friends were right there with you, so it was a social as well as a faith experience.
As a young adult, I must admit that there were a few years when I didn’t make that weekly trip to church. The excitement of leaving home and being in charge of myself trumped tradition for quite some time…until I started having children. At that point, raising my children in church became very important, and I was soon right back on that Sunday morning schedule, complete with toys and diaper bag. The interesting part was that many of my friends were going through the same thing, and, once again, the church filled both faith and social needs. The transformation circle was completed in the next generation.
So why are so many churches today made up of what I lovingly call “mature adults?” There are a few exceptions, of course, but, for the most part, that circle of coming home to church has been broken. And yet, some of the larger (and mega) churches have young families flocking to them each week! I believe people are saturated with so much busyness that they are only interested in committing to a faith that is personally relevant to them. They are still seeking God, but in a different way than we knew, a way more applicable to their lives. So our dilemma is to provide the atmosphere they need without compromising biblical truth. This is something we all need to be in prayer about…for the sake of the Church and future generations. It’s up to us to meet the challenge!