In my post THE BLACK CHURCH SHOULD BE COMPETING WITH THE NIGHT CLUB, I expressed my opinion on the disconnect between young folks and old church traditions…
Young folks are seeking a church experience that totally focuses on the needs and desires of their generation. These experiences aren’t being hatched by the Baby Boomers leading most churches today. There needs to be a movement of youth church leadership creating the new church experience for Generation X’er, Millennials, and the Gen Z’ers coming up behind them.
Maybe, in the first time in human history, old folks and young folks won’t be worshiping together. What the young folks are creating as a church experience looks nothing like what the church has been running with since almost forever. Is that a bad thing or is this the way it’s going to be from now on?
Old folks mistake the absence of young people in church as the absence of young folks seeking God. Many young folks seek God but can’t stand the Sunday morning church services run by people their grandparent’s age. They can’t relate to the music, the message, the rituals and standards. They form no sense of community with anyone in the congregation since most of them are older. It doesn’t take long before they seek another church they can relate to or quit all together because all churches seem the same.
Today, I learned PBS is airing a two-part documentary “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song” hosted by Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr. on Tuesday and Wednesday (2/16-17) on PBS at 9 p.m.
In a Washington Post interview today, they asked producer Stacey Holman…
Q: “So many young Black people are choosing to live spiritual lives rather than practicing organized religion. How do you think that affects the Black church?”
A: “I think just that word “organized” sounds strict and stringent. A lot of the rules and regulations feel like constraints to a younger generation. And a lot of the older people who are running some of these churches are kind of stuck in tradition. Anything new and fresh seems too worldly or doesn’t seem like it’s honoring or respectful to traditions that the church has had for years after years. And there are churches that are so young that they don’t have the elders and the wisdom that you get from your older generations. So I think it’s really just a lack of people opening up and saying maybe there’s a middle ground where we can meet. In a sense, both are missing out on an incredibly rich growth experience through faith and community.
Looks like we’re on the same page. What’s your opinion?