Technology, Millennials, and Church…

From time to time, I hear conversations that go like this:

“Ya know, people just don’t go to church like they used to…I remember when I was a kid, we were there every time the doors were open…”

Eventually, those conversations get to topics like social media, the internet, iPhones, technology…you know how it goes. At that moment, I will sometimes offer a question of my own, something to the effect of:

“Do you have a phone or computer and if so, how often do you check in with your friends, kids, grandkids, neighbors, etc. through that technology?” And often, the response is one like “I don’t do that stuff,” or “why would I do that” or “why do I need that…”

I know that technology, the internet, social media, smartphones and the like all have their perils and pitfalls. The least of which is how they have impaired human communication in a significant way. Just watch this video if you don’t believe me.

But I hear a recurring refrain about this generational gap that exists between millennials and boomers…I hear lots of boomers and others older than that say they wonder why they’re disconnected with younger generations and they don’t understand why they don’t go to church or participate in worship like “they did…”

And it makes me wonder…how can we help those folks, often so resistant to new things, change, and especially technology and social media, bridge that gap with the good side of all that this technological age has provided for us…I think the more we close that gap using some of the wonderful resources out there (that aren’t as hard as the media wants us to think they are), the more we’ll see relationships (which are STILL the most important thing) blossom and bloom where once they might have been prohibited by technology (on both sides of the gap, mind you).

Just fodder for thought. Not a full-blown rant, but something I think about almost daily.

Fracture, Unity, and “Tradition”

While it’s absolutely true that we in America have NO real concept of what it means to be persecuted as Christians, or as churches, what it means to experience religious persecution, I think it’s startling at just how often we hurt each other and ourselves and our brothers and sisters within the church. We allow Satan to have a field day attacking us, taking us “off message” by getting all worked up over things that just don’t’ matter in the grand scheme of things…

Just in the last few days, I’ve heard of fractures and divisions that have led to members of the body of Christ wishing failure and hurt on another congregation just because they “didn’t get their way.”

And we wonder why people are tired of “the church” or why people consider Christians to be hypocritical.

I have my share of failures, sin, and lots of baggage. But that’s NO excuse for any of us to EVER attack the Church…Christ’s bride…Christ’s body, Christ’s witness on earth to the world…a part of Christ’s incarnation to help make life on earth more like it is in heaven.

It would also do us well to do a better job defining what’s sacred, what’s a sacred cow, what’s biblical, what’s tradition, and what’s traditionalism. As Jaroslav Pellikan once said, “Tradition is the living faith of the dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.” Those are Two VERY different things.

Maybe a little “Fiddler” would help us remember the difference?