A Generational Identity
The Church in my generation is having an identity crisis. We aren’t sure who we are yet, and our wavering identity is causing us to lose people on the fringe and frustrate our elders. Unfortunately, clarity may not come for months, years, or even another generation! This lack of clarity is daunting, and for many, may be overwhelming enough to throw in the towel, but I am begging you don’t stop now! Lack of clarity can be biblical and even holy. It gives us opportunity to rely on God, to forge our relationships, and experience the labor pains necessary for new life. Just ask the Israelites in the dessert, Joseph and Mary on the road to Bethlehem, the disciples before Pentecost, or the early church in ancient Rome.
I promise you, my generation is not full of heathens. We just haven’t figured out what kind of Church God has called us too. Our culture has taught us to define ourselves by what we are not. We are not our parents, we are not organ enthusiast, we are not scripture memorizers….so on and so forth. But what about who we ARE? To answer this question we need some help.
God is calling this generation, but to figure out that call requires us to live in unclarity for awhile. We need the established Church to create a safe place. We need room fail like David on the rooftop. We need the encouragement of Eli to hear God’s voice. We need time to be angry at God like the Psalmist. We need to doubt like Thomas. And all along we need to know that God and God’s people love us unconditionally. We need safe places within the established church.
I believe places like this exist. One such place is my new church Woodlawn UMC in Derby, Kansas. This congregation is dedicated to creating safe space that will allow a new generation to find its identity and create its own expression of Church. I start work here in less than a week, and my first task is to build relationships. To hear the hearts and minds of those willing to share their lives. And before long to inch closer to clarity. Join us on our journey. Stay tuned via this blog and the church website to see how we are doing and offer your advice, encouragement, and concerns.
God isn’t done with us yet. God has a calling for this generation. Lets go find it together!