Here is the teaser of Ch 7 – Maybe I like Church? from “The Millennial Pastor.” Enjoy:
I have a confession. I know, a little late in the game. I never much liked church. I had a lot of bad experiences with it… I am kind of a stereotypical millennial in that regard.
Like I shared earlier, I embraced the punk teenager label I was given by the more “seasoned” individuals who went to church with me. It was a badge of honor growing up. In my defense, I was taught that turning an amp up to 11 solved most of life problems. In real life, not so much… who knew…
I regularly got in trouble for any number of things. I was a boy, so I ran. I ran everywhere, and that didn’t stop once my family got to church. Running wasn’t allowed in church, something about Jesus pulling a hammy? I don’t know… maybe his disciples were all faster than him and he made a rule stating “follow me, but walk, cuz I don’t like running anymore.” I’m sure He said it in the Bible somewhere… Seriously though, the way I was chastised for it, you would think God put it in the Ten Commandments or something.
As I shared in the preface, I grew up going to a church with a small youth ministry. It was almost always segregated from the rest of what was going on with the adults. Some adults made it clear how they felt about us teenagers. One time in particular sticks out in my mind. I’ll keep it short, but if you want to read the whole story you can find it in the preface. Basically, there was an elder gentleman who didn’t like the music coming out of the youth room. He came in and made it clear, and I, in turn, made it clear he wasn’t welcome. It was special.
We had infighting with the older generations that went beyond music. We used the same space on a Sunday morning. Our Sunday School met in a shared space which we had for the first hour and they had the second. The group that followed was the biggest and oldest Sunday School class in the church. Oldest in both age of those in it and in being the longest running Sunday school in the church. Talk about extremes and the potential for conflict!
These adults would leave Bibles on seats before our class even started and threaten us saying “you better not touch these, this is where we are sitting in our class so steer clear.” They were saving seats that we weren’t even allowed to sit in? They had their class in something like two hours and they thought so little of what we were doing that they went and confined where we were allowed to sit in a class they had nothing to do with. They even went to the youth pastor and told him he better watch and make sure nothing happened to their Bibles. This same group of people would even come into our class’s space early and start sitting down, having conversations and making coffee while we were still mid-lesson! They clearly didn’t care about what we were doing. It made me a little bit bitter, not gonna lie.
Stay tuned tomorrow for another millennial pastors story of some of the struggles they have encountered with the church. I will be sharing a little intro on our next blogger later today. Also, stick around this weekend for another publishing update. We may have a clearer date for the release of the book!
Until next time…
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