Christian Articles Archive

Younger Churches Make Beautiful Lovers

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

"I want to go to a church that is established," I can almost hear someone say, "a church that has a beautiful, historic edifice, and a long, rich tradition behind it." They begin to wax eloquent. "There's something about a great pipe organ that thrills my soul and lifts my spirit."

"And I want a preacher," adds a friend, "whose resonant voice rises and falls with measured cadence. I want a minister who dresses with dignity in the pulpit, who wears a flowing robe-- like Robert Schuller, for instance."

Now, there's a lot to be said for established tradition, and God has given us wonderful churches all over our community. But someone has to say a word for newer congregations like ours. Younger churches are often rich in things besides dazzling structures and thick carpets. Let me count the ways:

  • Younger Churches Experience a Vital Faith. How do you start a church from scratch? By a faith that envisions what God's will is and then sees it come to pass. Children raised in an environment of "can-do" faith find it hard later to settle for "ho-hum" Christianity.
  • Younger Churches Welcome Newcomers. Newer churches don't treat visitors as curious onlookers to a closed society. We reach out in friendship quickly, since we know what it's like to be new, too.
  • Younger Churches Are Flexible. If a change is needed, a new church doesn't take a year to pass it through all the committees and sub-committees. If we have to, we can put it together in the next week or two. Younger churches are good at managing change; if we weren't we wouldn't have made it this far.
  • Younger Churches Enjoy Being Casual. Some folks enjoy dressing up on Sundays--and that's okay--but most of our people dress casually--slacks rather than suits or dresses. The outer appearance isn't so important here; it's the inner person who is important.
  • Younger Churches Aren't As "Churchy." We have contemporary, upbeat music that is in step with today's generation. We aren't a museum for what was, we are a living laboratory of what is.
  • Younger Churches Care about their Communities. Since we spring directly out of the neighborhoods and apartment complexes in our community, we grapple with relevant issues.
  • Younger Churches Usually Have Lots of Children. We are sensitive to the needs of families--the challenges of nuclear families, as well as the struggles of single parents. And the singles and retirees in our church without any children at home are part of a wonderful instant family.
  • Younger Churches Care for Hurting People. Our people don't come with it all together. We are working on putting it together. And along the way there's lots of patience and love and healing.
  • Younger Churches Know How to Love. We don't have an "edifice complex." Our focus is people. Our children grow up in an atmosphere of caring love, with genuine Christian fellowship as the norm. If God is love, that's what His church is supposed to be like. Even if we are young, we can love well, and that's the point. ever forget: younger churches make beautiful lovers.

Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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