Thursday, January 12, 2012

Grace Continuum

As my seminary professor Mark Hicks tells us: Every conversation is a multi-cultural conversation because we are all cultures of one. We are each individual and unique, thanks to either god, God or randomness – that’s your call.

We may lump ourselves together to facilitate conversation, but nobody has the life experiences, influences, loves and fears of anyone else. Therefore, no two people see life in the exact same way.

Yet, when it comes to church community, we build in certain assumptions about each other. This may be why church treats us as though we were all the same. Management meetings and discussions that result in 20 minute sermons surrounded by catchy prophetic writings and hymns.

We need to ask ourselves: Is this what everyone wants to get out of church?

For the second time, once in my business life and once now in seminary the concept of generational differences has come up. The evidence is clear that the millennial generation (right now aged 18 – 30-ish) do not interact with each other the way the baby boomers do and they don’t have the same values as the Gen X’rs. When you say this out loud it sound even more stupid. Why would we think they would? Has ANY generation exactly repeated the patterns of behaviour of the generation before?

We simultaneously scratch our heads in wonderment about their lack of enthusiasm for church while not really asking them with an open heart if the performance-art aspects of Sunday mornings are meaningful to them. This is the behaviour of a group with a really cool secret they wish to keep to themselves.