Saturday, July 10, 2010

Last Night in Minneapolis

As we close out the General Assembly, there are new groups at the convention center. As I walked into tonight's proceedings, the man walking near me said, "They don't look like Presbyterians." And he is right. There are now a bunch of Yu-gi-oh players here - mostly older teens, as well as a triathlete convention. As I look at the Yu-gi-oh players, I wonder if they attend church anywhere, as they are the demographic that we are missing in the congregation that I serve. Yet, if they were to walk in, I wonder how open and inviting my congregation would be.

That is one of the struggles for many congregations. For as much energy as the Young Adult Advisory Delegates give to the GA, I wonder how many congregations actually have people in that demographic to serve (17-26). Our two (brothers) are attending the Presbyterian Youth Triennium, coming up in July. But they are the two high schoolers that we have. How do we find a balance between the traditions and music that the older generations prefer and what appeals to the younger generation, especially when one has 50 or so in worship?

That continues to be a struggle, and I imagine that I am not the only one who pastors a congregation with these issues. I so wish we could finally get past the "sex" stuff, but I fear that it will mean that many of my pastor friends might be moving on - and many friends in other congregations will follow.

Yes, worship wars continue ... but do they mask the underlying issues that we really don't want to talk about? Lord, do we need to start having Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments in the church? How do we attract new life in our congregations today? Who are the kids in our 'hood? And how do we engage them?

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