I’m at a place where I am free to worship where I wish and I wished yesterday to worship at the church of a friend who is in a new pastorate nearby.
The church is quite old and has quite a history, mostly not so good in recent decades. The building is new, courtesy of the Almighty (a lightning strike to the steeple) and the insurance company. It’s a traditional looking Southern Baptist church.
I make no criticism of the church where I have been a member for a few years and in which I have had modest staff responsibilities. It is new and non-traditional in every way. The pastor is an outstanding individual, highly capable, and a very good preacher.
But…did I exclaim ‘hallelujah!’ above…for any good reason?
The church yesterday had a guy playing a piano, on the pulpit platform.
It had a massive organ with a senior lady playing with both hands and both feet.
There were actual hymns! Old ones. Familiar ones. Beloved ones.
The congregation actually sang (socially distanced but not masked except for a few) rather than observing the “team” on the stage performing.
There were actual pews, cushioned of course. My wife and I sat in one with another couple who were far enough away for our comfort.
The pastor wore a suit and tie. He had gray hair.
There was a massive pulpit behind which the mature brother stood and preached. No stool. No iPad. No roaming about like a caged animal.
I didn’t see any shirttails. I didn’t see any funky, expensive sneakers. I didn’t see any goofball antics.
I didn’t hear any current event, social media buzzwords.
The Bible was preached in a straightforward manner.
I rather enjoyed it all.
There were a couple of concessions to the virus: the Lord’s Supper utilized the peal-and-eat, peal-and-sip modules. It was rather humorous. The congregation gets the units and while the pastor is reading scripture or praying, there are all these crinkling, peeling sounds. The seniors with diminishing dexterity are getting the jump on eating the tiny wafer. So much for silence when examining oneself before taking and eating. Such is the current state of things.
If Cowboy churches, a totally artificial concept, are celebrated. Why not senior churches?
If hipster churches get all the print because of totally irrelevant factors (the pastor’s casual attire, cool sneakers, tattoos, loud music, loud music, loud music, nightclub atmosphere…there’s more, I’m too depressed to go on…mostly senior churches probably still pay most of the bills.
I’ve read for decades about the coming wave of a distinctly graying demographic. The proportion of those over 65 are growing in number.
Why not appeal to that demographic? Why should folks like me be shamed into concessions (an unfair characterization, I admit, because you can meld things in a single church in various ways)?
Sure, they will die sooner but my whippersnapper colleagues will be reminded that replacements are always on the way. Folks get older every day.
Anyway, I enjoyed worshipping yesterday and don’t see any need for apologizing about liking hymns, organs, period furniture…and a suit and tie.
Hope you had as good a Lord’s Day as I did. There’s room for all of us.