Friday, October 15, 2010

When the elderly say Pbtbtbtbtbt

I have been feeling a bit anti-church lately.  Not anti-the-body-of-Christ; more anti-my-specific-church.  We've seen a real need for some intergenerational fellowship, and no one else seems to be doing anything, so we gave it a try.  The response was a hearty, "Go away and leave us alone" from the elderly people in the church.  They are not interested in any kind of relationship that asks anything from them.  It breaks my heart.

It also makes me mad for purely selfish reasons.  My utterly immature reaction is something like, "WTH?!  I don't even really like, want, or need relationships.  I'm going out and doing the hard thing here because I know you do want and need these relationships, even if it's highly unpleasant and inconvenient for me, and you say no?!"  Basically, we're both being immature.  (Is it a mark of maturity if I see that, at least?)

Anyway, I know this issue of intergenerational fellowship is a big problem in many churches.  I'm quite happy to give up on it.  (I have a history of trying my hardest, failing, giving up, and then seeing God do amazing things.  Let's hope that's what happens this time.)  However, I never know if adversity is a sign I should give up or an opportunity to learn perseverance.  (I think I usually choose wrong.)

Have you been a part of a local church body where this was not a problem?  What were the demographics of the church?  Why do you think intergenerational fellowship worked for you there and then?

What do you suggest to improve intergenerational fellowship for a too big church with two buildings in different cities, four services, and a seriously country clubby atmosphere?  How far should I push myself (I really don't have the energy for this) before I allow myself to step back and rest and not feel like a failure (or get angry, which I also don't have the energy for)?

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