Here’s a link to an article a mate sent to me today where the author reflects on baby boomer reluctance to accept the change that may come with an emerging generation or to embrace ‘change or die’ statements.
There are telling lessons in us for those of us re-imagining church and mission to hear at this end of the journey. In light of recent discussion it is also interesting that the author uses the term ’emergent’ to describe those who “like dark sanctuaries and slow reflective music”. I’m not sure if the author sees the missionary character of the ’emerging missional church’ which is defined not by the nature of the gathering but by the practice of enculturating the gospel into whatever context we find ourselves within. (Which may or may not result in “dark sanctuaries and slow reflective music”)
Here are a few snippets from the article:
“Eventually we won-we enshrined our own preferences as standard operating procedure in the church-“tradition.” In the process we became our parents-we got protective of our own traditions”
“And to be quite honest with you, as we boomers have aged we are less sure that we actually did the right thing in the violent overthrow of our parents’ traditions. We are admitting to each other that we did some pretty manipulative things to overthrow the oldsters and now we’re not totally sure we made a gain for the kingdom. Have we really reached the tons of unbelievers we claimed our musical styles would bring in? Is the quality of discipleship greater now than when we took over? We are doubting this now that we are approaching 60 as a generation.”
There is a call to humility in this article and to recognise that whatever our sense of calling may be and however we see the future of the church, there have been those who have gone before us who also have felt like they have ‘found the answer’.
I must add that none of the folks I know behave like they ‘have the answer’, but sometimes we can ‘fight’ for our preferences rather than for what Jesus would see as important.
Anyway… just read it!