Now I saw the date of this article, but also the time of it, so I’m taking it is not an April Fools. However when Andrew Brown in the Guardian comes out with “How do churches get new bums on seats? Get rid of the boring old ones” it got me thinking is it true.
Well yes you do find some closed minds in the pew, but I’ve found as many young congregation members filling seats or pews and not being willing to change. In the article the example of Holy Trinity Brompton is used, as a place with many young people. But does this simply show that this place is taking in people from a wide area. It is a common feature that some people will travel to somewhere that is stylistically or theologically in line with them, or that provides the resources they need.
Then comes the idea of those “ladies of the church” who are 70+ and have served well. Having led worship with many of these, they are often more open to new ideas than some others (and much younger) I know.
It is not a case of simple shifting the existing group to a new slot, and bring in something new (though at times that many be what every one wants). It can be a gradual process, that draws people from where they are to where they need to be.
The Church is not about bums on pews it is about community, it is about being many ages together. What might be needed more is that this becomes not only the Sunday School heading out, but having some time together and then several different options available, that can be taken up by those who wish to. Before coming back together over coffee and such.
We really should not be looking to push any out, as I’ve said before.