One of my new goals is to keep up a trend of posting here on the end of the week. Last Friday I really wanted to write, but couldn’t pull it off. Last time I said I’d talk about Revolution, Barna’s recent book, but instead I’m going to stick with writing about my trials in church life.

After my Church is Failing, Part II post, Clif read it, and was quickly compelled to strike up the conversation with me. (We talk of philosophical subjects and church life a lot.) The short version was he felt a significant portion of my perspective was due to stage in life and generation gap. I’m sure those things are a factor, how can they not be, but I was not willing to give up as much as he was driving at. This writing itself could be dismissed as such, as that’s the age old cycle of growth – but doing so is a cop-out, and here is why.

I will not dismiss this as life stage so easily because I’ve heard that excuse used for the past fifteen years, and I’m sure I’ll hear it for the next fifteen. If everything is attributed to just being a stage in my life that I need to somehow grow past and get over, I can be getting away with a lot more than I have been thus far. 🙂 I believe this more to be a difference between post-modern and modern world views. Here’s is a quick example of the difficulty between post-modern to modern communication:

What a post-modern says: “I like this church. The people here are nice, and I like coming here. I don’t feel very connected with God when I worship here though. When I feel filled with worship, it is through high energy music that I connect with.”

What a modern seems to hear: “I like this church. The people here are nice, and I like coming here. You don’t do a good job reaching me during worship. You really need to change the service to have music that I like.”

This seems to me an intrinsic communication gap. So do you read the above and dismiss it as differences between how generations worship, or do you read it and see an opportunity to reach those with a post-modern world view? Dismissing it as generation gap is a cop-out because that answer is essentially, “This is the way we do church, or you could go somewhere else.” That’s … not the church I’ve read about. What young people from the post-modern world view are saying is “What you do works for you, but it just doesn’t work for me.” All the while most churches are struggling to reach post-modern people.

So my question still waits for an answer. Your worship doesn’t work for me, should I just go find someplace that does? In many places in life it’s easy to dismiss differences of opinion citing generation gap, but I do not feel you can do that in the church. One of the things the church should be is a place where people can go to have a closer relationship with God and worship Him. Many would agree that the church should be that place for young and old. Very few would agree to change the church to be able to do just that.

So how do you include both the young and the old and not change the church? What if we didn’t want to change the way your church is done, we just wanted church to include our needs too? How would you do that?