It has rained most all day where I am. This winter has seen its share of wet weather and clouds. Today, Monday, reminds me of the song “rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” Kudos to those in the Northwest. I am not sure I could take all the cloudy days. I work while my wife attends the funeral of a friend’s father. Such is life.
However, I do think I have had some insight. Observing Baptist congregations leads me to believe that the old “pot luck” meal is a metaphor for how we do church and why there is so much division. It is ‘pot luck’.
But lest we curse the darkness, there is light.
Thom Rainer re-tweeted from @EssentialChurch that “The formerly unchurched are insistent that the church be uncompromising in its beliefs. They are tired of a theologically tolerant culture.” (That was one hour after he tweeted he was in conversation with Paige Patterson.)
My recent experiences with churches has confirmed that and more. It is the younger people who are demanding we dig deep and have theological content. Here are some examples from my experience.
A pastor of a local congregation made up primarily of those under 40 recently led his leadership team through Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. I’m reporting here, not advertising, so if Grudem isn’t your favorite, you choose another. As a result of that, at least one group of lay persons in the church did the same things and each couple bought the “unabridged” edition and they are working their way through it.
A 24 year old came to me where I serve as interim and inquired about starting a small group that would study theology. He laid our the need and the desire.
I casually mentioned Calvinism in a recent sermon. In small group discussion (we were in an emphasis where the pastor’s series were discussed in small group format on Sunday evening with the focus being application) one person in the after-40 age group asked, “what’s Calvinism”.
One in an older generation said “no one listens past 20 minutes” while a 30-something said “man, forget the clock. If it is 10 minutes or 40 minutes, give what God has given you.”
All of these are examples from various locations of current reality in some churches. God is still “able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think – according to the power that works in you – to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” -Ephesians 3:20-21
Could one apply “generations” to all age groups alive today as well as the immediate context of future generations? Since each is in a sense “future”, I think so.
So why bother on a rainy Monday? Sunday’s coming!!