Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Church and age
As "youth" is the focus of my job, its easy to get blinkered into thinking solely about young people and emerging generations, and "the future" .
Several things have made me think wider recently. Firstly working on stuff for my home church's 125th Anniversary has been interesting to see where we've come from, how the church has become "of its time" etc.
Also today I was thinking around some stuff about "all age worship" and the dreaded "family service" when I came across this article (from the excellently named Leveson centre for the study of Spirituality and Ageing). In the article Dr David Isiorho challenges an exclusive focus on "youth" and "urban". I don't agree with all he says, but it provides a helpful counter-balance for a London youth specialist! He is critical of family services suggesting:
"Many so-called all-age worship services are little more than play groups that may include the odd prayer or spiritual song"
He also asks:
" why is so much being invested in the youth and not the experienced members of the congregation?"

I have often felt that with an ageing population more proactive ministry with older people is essential. I know several churches that have seen pensioners come to faith or re-kindle lost faith through such intentional work. Maybe we need "older workers" as much as "youth workers"?


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