Sunday, October 02, 2005

Why do we in the church copy the world?

The world segments to population into all of these little age groupings. Seniors, adults, youth, kids. People are taught by the world to enjoy only things geared precisely for their age group and to loathe everything else. I think we perpetuate this problem in the church. There isn't a children's body of Christ, a youth body of Christ, an adult body of Christ, etc. We are all in the same body. Why did people long ago let the church become so segregated along age lines? The church is one of the few places that the family has any chance at all. Let's not send our youth and children off to their own worlds to learn about God in their own way. Let's instead grow as one body with many members each member having a different function and a diversity of age.

Why am I thinking about this? It started with the question of "how does a church simplify?" My church has 7 different programs on Sunday morning for about 400 people... separate worship for adults, Jr high, Sr high, 3rd-5th, K-2nd, preschool, and nursery. If you don't count nursery we have 6 worship/programming leaders, 6 teachers, 6 small group caring structures. What if we just had one service that speaks to the whole body of Christ (all ages) and we had family-based LifeGroups? Then those other 5 worship leaders, other 5 age group leaders, other 5 LifeGroup structure leaders, and many other age group volunteers could be freed up not to make the church run week-to-week, but they could be dreaming up ways to use music and teaching and all their other skills out in the community engaging people with Christ's love.

Also, it's a whole lot easier to have a church without a building if you only need to find one room to meet in as a large group. It would be almost impossible to find a place with 7 rooms for all the worship services and nursery we currently have.

Any thoughts?


kris said...

Allen, these are the right questions to be asking. i do think it's really hard -- not so much w/ young kids -- but it is a challenge to bridge the whole teens/young adults/parents gap. so, it's difficult to get my head around people's ability and willingness to be transparent etc. with family members in LG's together ... maybe not insurmountable, but definitely not easy. Keep asking - and challenging us to care enough to think about this stuff.

Anonymous said...

I think that we'd have to TOTALLY change the church we have a teacher in the church who could meet the needs of a 5 year old and a 45 year old all at the same time??? Is there such a thing? Or would we then segment out our ONE service for the adult sermon and the kids' sermon?

I absolutely LOVE what I get to do now in the church with K-2nd grade. I feel like I'm doing EXACTLY what God's made me to do. HOWEVER, whether I like this topic or not, I think it's good to think about.

We REALLY need to decide how we're going to make it up the last 150 feet of Mt. Everest...I can almost see it now...