Earlier this week, I shared a Facebook link that one of my pastor friends had shared as well.
The author, Matt Marino…the post, I’ll share below.
While I want to allow Matt’s great post to speak for itself, I wanted to share some personal thoughts as well. First of all, when I say ‘the church,’ I’m not necessarily talking about my church, your church or their church. In ways, I believe we’re all guilty of this modern-day segregation.
I like speciality shops. One of the things I dislike about them however, is the price. They’re typically slightly more expensive than the department store. Some of the advantages however, typically outweigh the price: 1. focus- typically, they’re focused on doing a few things very well, 2. service- the people there know the focus, the product, the vision, etc…the employees are focused on their job and typically know a lot about it…not only that, they’re typically passionate about their job and enjoy making a repeat customer out of you and I, 3. Intimacy- sorry Walmart, Lowe’s, & Target (and the countless others)…you just don’t know your customers (a.k.a. partners in business) as much as you like to think that you do…
The one thing that department stores have figured out however…customers will spend more, put up with more frustration, and excuse sorry customer service if they feel like they’re saving money.
There’s a local coffee shop I go to from time to time. The second time I ever visited, the owner called me by first name (likely espionage) and we conversed. I go there once every couple of months and this is still the case. Whenever he is there, he takes the time and makes the effort to pour value (and coffee) into his customers.
Has the church become a department store? After all, it costs more…money, personal investment, effort, commitment and time…to be a specialty church.
Some colleagues and I have often had this conversation. We show up to our church facility and we break up the family until two hours later. Grandpa goes and hangs out with his crowd, the kiddos go to their prospective nursery/class/youth service/couch/vending machine, Mom goes to tea, and Dad goes to hang out with his buds (likely avoiding whatever class/discipleship group that he could benefit most from). Two things…the above example is hopefully hyperbole AND authentic community (church cliche language of the past decade) and/or family can exist within this sort of model…to a degree…perhaps…I think.
As the church, let’s do few things VERY WELL! Let’s be more about family than community. By all means, we must minimize segregating by age, by race, by gender, and by hobby. 1 Corinthians 12 (One body, many parts…unsegregated parts)
Marino’s article mostly deals with how the segregated church has affected our current church status, which seems to have an enormous generational gap.
The subject article…check it out for yourself!