I had lunch yesterday with a pastor, an attorney who is an influential church leader, and a Christian college professor with a PhD from Oxford. They all love Jesus, but none of them are having a satisfactory church experience. The professor is on disability, the church leader can no longer stomach his church, and the pastor is tired of Christians and can’t wait to retire in three months. None of them are very hopeful about where the church in America is going. What’s wrong with this picture? You could say I just had an unfortunate group of people who are all having individual struggles for some reason, but Barna’s research would say I had lunch with a typical cross-section of Christians in America. All of them agree on one thing: The boomers have it; the millennials are looking for it; and most everybody in between doesn’t know what it is.
I couldn’t help but wonder what is going to happen here. The millennials don’t go to church, the boomers are becoming disillusioned with church, most of those in-between are too busy with their lives to care. I can’t help but think that if we could somehow get the boomers and the millennials together, we would have something. They are the ones who care the most. But how do you start the First Church of Boomers and Millennials?
I walked away from that meeting both frustrated and excited — frustrated, because it seems impossible to do, but excited to realize that we may be sitting on one of the answers right here at the Catch. Where else can we get these two distant groups together except for the internet? In fact — wake up — this is who we are right now. These two groups are our primary audience. We may have the key that can unlock the potential of both groups together.
The more we can focus on Jesus and the unifying truth of the gospel, the more we can come together. The less time we spend on social issues and Christian culture, the better. Forget trying to save America (whatever that means), forget trying to create a Christian culture in society, forget trying to infuse Christian values into the structures of our social fabric, forget the culture wars, put out a white flag and seek the Kingdom of God in the marketplace. Get out there and love people. Love God, and love our neighbors. What else is there?
Love God, and love your neighbor. Jesus said this sums up all the law and the prophets. Love God, and love your neighbor and you will fit right in at the First Church of Boomers and Millennials.
From Today’s Catch: “The less time we spend on social issues and Christian culture, the better…
Love God, and love your neighbor. Jesus said this sums up all the law and the prophets.” Amen!
I can identify with your lunch friends. I have been sick of the church experience and too many Christians for some time…years in fact. Truth be told, sometimes I’m sick of myself! For awhile I found an outlet through our music ministry, as well as our CMA ministry and my work with teens. Circumstance, surgery and age have removed all of that, and I’m sitting here (spiritually), torn between finding another ministry or throwing in the towel and saying the heck with it. To say I am jaundiced would be an understatement. However,being called into ministry as I have, I know I have no other choice but to get back in the ring. In truth, I know that no believer ever really retires from ministry; it continues in some form until He calls us home.
Like you, I have felt a stirring deep inside, a yearning that needs an outlet. I am hungry to teach and lead and to learn. I have waited, not wanting to upset God’s timing. But I think the time is near. Other believers have expressed their same hunger for more. I have felt for some time that the Lord wants Bobby and I to host a fellowship; a safe place to question and share; to grow past the strictures that are confining us. And also, a place to share our love of music again.
So I stand up straight and face into the wind again…like Peter…stepping out of the boat.
Go for it. There will always be those who hunger for righteousness and truth. Get started; they will come.