Today’s questions

At NFC, we’ve held to the “every service the same” mantra for over 15 years, because we say we don’t want to split into little homogenous groups. We’ve said we want diversity (by which we primarily are speaking about generational diversity…our racial and socioeconomic diversity isn’t all that huge), because we’ve said we want to reflect the whole body of Christ. We haven’t wanted to segment ourselves stylistically, because we assume that will mean we will segment generationally.

Are we fooling ourselves?

For those of you a part of NFC, I have these questions: Do you like and want generational diversity? And what do you mean by that? Do you mean, “I want my kids to know and be known by people my grandparents’ age,” or do you mean, “I want to sit in a room with different generations and occasionally hear words of wisdom from them,” or something else? Is our “every service the same” philosophy really building deep relationships across the generations, or are we patting ourselves on the back for something that really isn’t all that deep and real?

I have some wonderful relationships with people in each of the generations in our body: Millenials, X’ers/13’ers, Boomers, Silent, G.I., and maybe even 1 or 2 from the Lost generation. Those relationships have been built outside of worship. What would we really lose if we changed the purpose of a service or started another?

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3 thoughts on “Today’s questions

  1. I was JUST having this discussion with my mother, who’s currently leading her church counsel during their transition to 2 different services. Separate services separate people. I understand the desire to meet the diverse needs and interests of the congregation (as well as attract a younger crowd, which often is the driving force behind the move). But I think there is greater value in keeping the church united and together in worship.When I sit in the balcony at NFC, I look around at people of all ages, young people sitting with their parents and grandparents, as well as older people grouped together and younger people grouped together. We’re all there, sharing our experiences and ideas. Especially during open worship, I find great value in listening to people of other generations share their visions, prayers and experiences. When we split into small groups, Sunday school classes and other activities, it’s usually divided by age (intentionally or not). At work, I am mostly around people near my age. At play, I’m almost always in my age group. But in Sunday worship, I’m surrounded by people that provide perspective and experiences that I don’t get elsewhere.I’ve also always had a feeling that having different services sort of cheapens the experience – like we’re catering to fads and humanly whims instead of centering on Christ. But that’s just a feeling – I have nothing to back that up.Anyway, my vote (not very Quaker, I guess) is for same services. 🙂

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  2. Gregg, I see our “generational” worship as analagous to a common language. Yes, the relationships I have with others from different generations than my own are deepend outsite of worship, but often through drawing on our experiences in worship. We are sharing the common life of worship together. What do I want from “generational diversity?” I desire to know and be know our community members, that we would share Christ with each other and together endevor to listen to and follow Him. All of us from early childhood to those of us in our golden years are uniquely created by God. Each of us has the Spirit within us and a gift to bring to our worship together. We are the “family of God” few families are made from the members of only one generation. I enjoy having all generations together in worship. (I am a first service attender and it brings me great joy to have children in the service.)I believe we lose an important opportunity to be the body of Christ if we segment our worship community.

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  3. I’m not part of NFC, and maybe I shouldn’t comment, but I wonder, are you already divided, into people who come and people who don’t?Could people decide to come to the worship service that had predominantly people of a different generation any time they want?

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