Near the end of serving my last church, I helped a family bury their 44-year old brother. But he was also son, husband, father, and grandfather. Let’s call him Sam. One of eight children, Sam met and married his wife when they were teenagers. Soon, they gave birth to two daughters. And the daughters had children.
Many at the funeral were under 50, and quite a few were parents with kids. Throughout the service there were bursts of giggles and sudden loud cries. For the children, a sanctuary was unfamiliar, even unsettling.
I have a theory about young adults and the church. Here it goes. Let me know what you think.
While many churches say “we want young people” they don’t really. If young adults actually showed up and joined their church for good, the change they’d naturally bring with them would be stark, even off-putting. In fact, making a congregation welcoming for young adults necessarily means it will become less comfortable for the current members.
It’s just a theory, but here’s why I’m suggesting it.
It was late and one chair sat empty when I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Looking at the panelists seated up front, I knew the speaker from the Jewish tradition, the Islamist, and the Buddhist were present. By process of elimination, I figured the other two occupying their chairs were the Hindu and Baha’i speakers. Which left a lone seat empty for the Christian.
In a nutshell, this is Pentecost, or at least, the most intriguing detail of the famous Acts story. But too often this significant detail gets lost in the celebration of rushing wind, fiery tongues and the so-called birth of the church.
How do we solve the gender gap in ministry? With women outnumbering men in seminaries today, how we do break that stained glass ceiling?
Our current approach in the Presbyterian Church is to require churches, when looking for a pastor, to interview at least one female candidate. The thinking is, of the final three or four candidates, there would be a woman in the mix, and perhaps even churches with an unspoken default of pastor=male might be sufficiently moved to think outside the box. Not that every church will follow that up with a call to that woman, of course. This is mysterious Holy Spirit stuff, not to mention that there are women pastors who aren’t all that. But churches should at least look.
Like most churches, we occasionally receive requests for money from people in our community. I suspect I am not alone when I say that I have come to dread these calls. It’s not that I don’t think that the church should help people in need, or that I resent the “intrusion” on my time or anything like that.
For a variety of reasons, Christian faith in America tends to be a private and personal thing. Faith is what we believe, and that can be safely tucked away in our brain somewhere. In the faith understanding I grew up with, you can be a faithful Christian if you go to church on Sunday and abide by societal norms for morality. So, in essence, if people don't check the church par
It happened again today. I drove up to one of my favorite cafes in a nearby town and was shocked to find it closed. I don’t mean closed today. I mean closed forever. But they knew me there! They knew I liked those vanilla creamers and my eggs poached hard! I sat with the engine running, hungry and caffeine-deprived, wondering where I would go for breakfast. Why didn’t they warn me? I would have come by to say good-bye.