Chuck, you remind me of a dinosaur . . . you're making a deep impression where you are and you can see much farther than the rest of us. Tell me, what are you pondering these days?
"I'm asking myself what the impact of social media and technology will have on our understanding of 'church.'
As a child born in 1943, I understood 'church' to be a place my family frequented on Sunday mornings. While there, we 'did church' . . . sang a few hymns, heard a sermon, put some money in a plate, shook hands with the preacher, shared pleasantries with a few friends in the parking lot, and went home for the best meal of the week. Most times, it was a test of endurance for a youngster; but if one hoped to play outside later in the day, the line had to be toed. With no substantive variations, most folks my age continue to carry on the tradition inherited from our forebears: we 'go to church to do church.'
While my five grandchildren still respect the ways of this 'dinosaur,' they are increasingly challenged by the quaint notion of having to go somewhere (church) to do something (church) that may not be immediately self-satisfying. After all, each listens to a personalized playlist on iTunes; sermons are available, if desired, on podcasts; carrying money is passé; shaking hands with a hologram is tricky; BFFs are FaceTimed; and the best meal each week is likely ordered using an iPhone app.
'Church,' as I have known and loved it, remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years largely because the way culture defined itself underwent no seismic shifts. However, I fear that, unless we 'dinosaurs' find a meaningful way of engaging the emerging generations of Homo sapiens, 'church' will follow the true dinosaurs into extinction."
Heavenly Father, gracious benefactor of the past, present and future, thank you for opening the hearts of our spiritual ancestors in this place to sacrificially give of their resources for your Kingdom's purposes, that we might be better positioned to serve you . . . in their present they provided for the future.
As did Elisha, we pray for a double portion of your Holy Spirit to fall upon us, that we might become heirs to their legacy of faithful generosity . . . in the present we, too, seek to provide for the future - not for our good, but for the greater glory of your Son, Jesus Christ.
May it be so, Father; may it be so! Amen.