Unlike my other posts, this is going to be a short story. At the end, I have questions that I am seeking answers to. If you have any ideas to my questions, please leave a comment. Thanks!
Chad, a recently new Christian. He grew up in a rough neighborhood in Chicago. His sister essentially raised him.
By growing up on the streets of Chicago, he wore baggy clothes and a T-shirt most of the time with a snap-back.
It wasn’t until college when he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
Now Chad is going to multiple churches trying to find a church to fit in. One Sunday he finds one that only sings hymns, but the preaching was alright. The next week is a Church where everyone wore a suit and tie and he felt very awkward wearing what he has worn his whole life.
According to Chad, there seems to be no excitement at churches about their Savior. According to him, all Christians are dead spiritually and sing songs that express no excitement of being saved…
Chad feels alone. He feels like no Christian is like him. No one accepts him for who he is, instead they try to force Chad into their made up box of what a Christian should be like. In so doing, Chad feels like he belongs in their prison…
Sam on the other hand grew up in church. He rarely missed a service and has knowledge beyond knowledge about the Bible. From all appearances, Sam is a leader in his church. Most might even dare say he is near perfect. Sam loves Jesus and takes care of the poor and the needy.
Upon completing college, he was challenged to view life differently. He moved back to his home church and wanted to help to change the Church to be more engaging towards the younger crowd.
Yes, he likes hymns and on rare occasion they sang contemporary songs. He also was tired of having to dress up for God.
Even when I dress up for God, I don’t impress him. Jesus is also my friend.
Sam desperately wanted to change the culture of the church. He knew he had to do it slowly and pick his battles with the local leadership of the church.
The more Sam tried to help change the local church, the more resistant the church grew towards Sam. Instead of thinking of Sam as a near perfect man, they now viewed him as a threat.
Yet, the church as a whole is wondering why no young people are coming to their local congregation.
Sam’s ideas are too wild. They are too “out there.” Sam wants to remain committed to biblical inerrancy, but wants to engage with our culture and make the culture of the church more comfortable for the younger generation.
Sam started dressing down, wearing jeans and a T-shirt. He even wore a necklace once and he got talked to about the way he dressed.
Sam is frustrated and sad. He feels like no one understands and while the church likes the idea of changing, they actually do not want to change…
How does a church reconcile these two problems?
While the characters are fictional, this is a real issue to address. What is the answer to engage both Sam and Chad, and with our culture and yet still remain faithful to God’s Word?
A church cannot please everyone, and when they try they fail at both. How can a church change their culture to make it more comfortable for younger generations?