Often we miss occasions to learn. A couple of youth boys sat across the table during an "interview" regarding youth ministry at their church. Each agreed they needed interaction with older youth. When pressed to describe the value of this kind of relationship the young men pointed to what they would learn given the opportunity. I thought to myself, and then mentioned to these two helpful young men, what the senior high youth could learn from the eagerness of these two to bee mentored.
Consultations create the occasion for me as a pastor to hear others describe circumstances that may run parallel to our own. One of the things to come out of today’s interviews centered on the differing narratives in a given local congregation. Some in the congregation live near the church building. Proximity to the facilities makes participation convenient. Others live 20-30 minutes from the building. Concern for distance and regular road work mean a regular consideration about the hour round trip involved in attending a "second" time on a given Sunday. Many choose to stay home. Neither group is more "spiritual" than the other. The way they view life is vastly different.
Every church contains competing narratives. Generational differences may be described as differing stories. Family context presents the occasion for competing narratives – age of children, children at home or grown children describe different stories for families. Needs for these families are different. Rather than a one size fits all we need to consider ways in which our communities may honor these differing places, stories, locations of our families. Participation should be encouraged around the differing locations families experience.
What do you think?