The other day my wife found this post and shared it with me, “a plea to spiritual fathers to stop eating their young“.
It hit home.
I didn’t grow up in the church. I didn’t know Jesus Christ in my life until my late 20s so I have no ties to the traditional church. I don’t have a church I can call home where I grew up where there is a crowd of folks who I can say influenced greatly my Christian upbringing.
I’m not alone in this as the article above indicates.
I’ve heard stories from fellow young clergy who have been shouted down at meetings by “older and wiser clergy” because of their “new ideas.” I was at a meeting recently where I was verbally roughed up because I was seen as driving my agenda without consulting the wisdom of the committee I was working with, when all I was trying to do was gather some information so my newly formed committee could further develop their mandate.
It hurts to know that this church we feel called to serve shuts us out because we think “wrong.”
I talk with many clergy in my generation who are searching for a church that has meaning to us. Yes, we can function in the traditional church, but it’s not our passion.
Part of the problem is that the church (at least the denomination I am in) is in not in a position to free us up to do new things. The way we are structured actually makes it very hard to free us to explore new models of “church” because the church is in crisis.
When in crisis we tend to withdraw, to seek to protect ourselves and minimize risk.
I fully support the need to care for our traditional membership, but it would help me a lot to know I was being supported in such a way by the church fathers and mothers that I was free to take some risks and try new things in an effort to reach these lost generations.
I want people my age to know the love I have found through encountering Jesus Christ, but I also know the traditional church is unlikely to keep them interested for long.
We need to get along. We need to work together. We need to bless one another.
I’m reaching out to the church for help, a place to start, a blessing.
Will someone respond?
Photo from http://www.sxc.hu/photo/640941