HT Amy Forbus via the UMR blog for this from the Questing Parson. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version: An aging pastor, intent on keeping the attention of a mass of those “under twenty” in attendance, conspires with another layperson to text them all during the sermon to encourage them to pay attention. Questing Parson writes that
the parson was tremendously aware that keeping the attention of the rising generation that was so technically savvy and bright was the greatest challenge of his ministry.
I appreciate the point, but I think QP has got the cart before the horse.
Sure, youth appreciate it when us old-timers stay aware of current technology, but I believe what they appreciate more is being respected and accepted as a valued part of the congregation.
Kenda Creasy Dean’s Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church makes it clear that what yearn for, and have too often been set-aside for, is “adults mature or available enough to offer them sustained forms of nurture.” (p.61)
Dean goes on:
A passionless church will never address passionate youth. It is highly questionable whether a passionless church addresses anybody, or if it even is the Church in the first place. (p.69)
So, Questing Parson, I’m with you: if learning to SMS and collecting personal cell numbers is what it takes for a pastor to begin to show a passion for reaching teens, amen! I’m just concerned that we not think learning to type with our thumbs is the next great church growth plan.