Yesterday I Was a Time Traveler
December 1, 2007
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I lived in two different times yesterday. The first time was a conversation between Rupert, Ron and myself (Rupert being our associate pastor, Ron being our music minister and me being myself). We were grappling with how to reach the late teens and twenty-somethings. How do we “do church” in such a way that it connects for them? On the whole, this generation doesn’t like to have things be too organized or polished, it speaks of being inauthentic. Nor do they like being told things in a formal teaching or preaching situation but, instead, prefer dialogue. We want to reach this generation, for there are far to few of them in our churches today. HOw? We’ve started a unique Saturday night service for them, and we’re just trying to figure out how to do it right.
The second time (the second destination in my day of time travel) I visted Aileen in an extended care facility. She’s 101 years old, the oldest member of our congregation. She and I, we go way back. I’ve been her pastor for 32 years. I’m not sure she recognized who I was, though she was very glad to see me. I shouted to be heard. You often shout prayes when visiting the elderly. They too, can be a challenge to connect with.
I’m called to pastor both groups — the twenty-somethings and the shut-ins. Going from one group to the other, that’s time travel! It’s always been a challenge for the generations to relate. After all, we’re coming and going at different times here on earth and can easily be ships passing in the night.
Some reading this blog are part of what’s called the sandwich generation. You’re giving some kind of support to both children (or grandchildren) and parents (or grandparents). That’s a challenge!
It seems to me that part of the richness of life comes from accepting this challenge of relating to people of another generaion. God has so much for us to gain from having relationships with those both younger and older than us. It’s the kind of time travel that stretches you!
“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.” Ecclesiastes 1:4
“One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4