Bowling Alley Gutters
In the church (any church), there are as many preferences and opinions as there are individual people.
In many churches, people fall out about issues such as women in ministry, the significance of the sacraments and the way a sanctuary should be decorated. Well, people tend to rebel or react or respond (depending on which word you want to use) to the previous generation or the previous loudest voice.
And the pendulum swings.
One generation does it one way, the following generation rebels and risks throwing the baby out with the bathwater and does it completely differently. I’m not saying anything against change or innovation, on the contrary I believe in those things strongly. But I am against people badmouthing and competing with previous generations, traditions and methodologies just because they think they’re the ‘enlightened ones’ with all the answers.
It’s like a bowling alley. There are gutters down either side. The first generation may well have fallen into the gutter from time to time. But the next generation needs to make sure we don’t go off into the opposite side with our response.
How about staying in the middle of the alley, keeping the big things big and the small things small? How about building relationships based on what we agree on rather than building walls based on what we don’t agree on.
I for one am glad that I’m part of a church that preaches topical sermons and exegetical sermons.
I’m glad we sing lots of new songs, but I’m also glad we do the occasional classic, especially at Christmas and Easter.
I’m glad we have lots of thriving, powerful young leaders. I’m also glad we have people in their 60’s and 70’s setting an example of longevity and commitment, holding us up in prayer and guiding with time-tested wisdom and counsel.
Sure, we (just like any other church) veer towards the bowling alley gutters from time to time, but, if together we make a commitment to keep to the middle of the alley, well, that sounds like the way the church ought to be.