“Our church is closing!” my friend shared with me as we recently enjoyed a meal together. “Why? Why is it closing?” I asked. “We’ve run out of people,” was his response. He went on to tell me how most of the people in the church were ‘grey haired’ and those ‘non grey haired’ folks just don’t seem to want to come anymore.
As our conversation continued I told him a rather startling article I had read – where the author claimed that people who were over the age of 40 years, were really immigrants in this world. The world the over 40’s are living in is not the world that they were born into. This is a different world.
Our time together made me aware again that the church of today not only must be aware of the different cultures we are part of; but must be gracious enough to embrace the people who are part of a different culture – a different way of experiencing the world.
I remember being in McDonalds with a group of young people and was not only enjoying my burger and shake, but also quizzing them as to the kind of programs that they as young people would appreciate most in their church. (You see the culture I was born into said you have to have programs.)
They startled me with their response. “We don’t want programs. We would like to do more of the very thing we are doing right now. We like being with you and learning to relate to you. Don’t be our program leader – be our friend.