The Christian Post online recently published an interesting interview with Ken Myers entitled Is “The Culture” Really the Church’s Problem? Myers is the founder and host of the Mars Hill Audio journal, a bimonthly audio magazine featuring interviews with Christian thinkers in the areas of academics, politics, and the arts. Myers doesn’t believe that the broader culture in general is the biggest challenge facing the Church today. Rather, he believes that culture inside the church is the problem. Instead of being transformed by the gospel, many believers’ lives are conformed to the culture around them, as Paul warns against in Romans 12. It’s a thought-provoking interview.
Here is a provocative excerpt about the dangers of segregating people in the church by age:
“One of the biggest and most consequential forms of cultural captivity of the Church is the way Christians have accepted the rise in the mid-twentieth century of what we call “youth culture,” with its assumption that intergenerational discontinuity is the norm.
“Marketers have successfully entrenched the notion of youth culture by creating product lines that are intended to define adolescent identity as a deliberate rejection of parental expectations. Not only does this age segregation weaken the family’s ability to pursue the cultural task of moral transmission, it also weakens the understanding of the family itself. A proper understanding of the meaning of family is intergenerational in all directions.
I agree with Myers. I believe that a proper understanding of church family is also “intergenerational in all directions.” Unless younger generations and older generations interact with and mentor one another in the church, how can we hope to pass on genuine Christian faith and passionate discipleship?
Here is something for smaller congregations to consider: it can be a blessing not to be able to segregate people in the congregation by age. We naturally work and interact intergenerationally. We have to.