I’m not sure it was an eureka moment, but there was definitely a touch of the ‘ah-ha’s’ for me last night. I was at a deacons meeting helping them begin to think about the future when their present Minister leaves – nothing new there.
I was listening to their comments about how they saw they church and their current frustrations with not being able to build any momentum.
We were talking about ‘people today’ and how they tend to be both risk averse and, also, how commitment is being expressed differently. Margaret then simply said ‘but these people were talking about have been church members for years and are not young people’. Now it may be just me, but I’ve tended to engage with these things with an in-built assumption we’ve been talking about new people into churches, or younger people. The reality, what I’ve been missing, is the popular culture, in both these concerns is now the church culture in many places also.
I’m happy for readers to simply read and smugly mutter ‘slow’, ‘stupid’ etc at their screen, but this has been quite helpful for me. I think it will influence my ‘where are we now’ parts of reviewing church life in any particular situation. It’s increasingly clear to me that unless we address the culture and values of any group, we shall make our plans in vein. This certainly seemed to be what I was hearing last evening as issues, whose roots go back years were re-counted.