Look…Lutheran Ladies know stuff. It might be the lint of the Universe or ponderous enough to stump Rodin’s thinker, but here’s what Betty in Chicago wants to know.
“Our Pastor is meeting with the twenty-something-year-olds at the local pub. It’s a family friendly place and I understand they tackle any topic, but now I can’t get my son to go to church. He thinks this fills the bill. How to convince him this isn’t worship?”
Oh, Betty. Betty. Betty.
You didn’t mention underage drinking, pole-dancers, or head-banging music, so I’m assuming this isn’t a problem with the location, it’s about sitting in a pew on Sunday mornings. Or what younger people like to call “forced worship.”
Here’s Plan A: which I wouldn’t recommend because it’s an epic fail.
Plan A: Some doofus (like me) says, “Hey we need more young people in church, and because they think the service is boring, let’s have a service on another night, crank up the music, and spice up the homily with powerpoint or videos. Hoooray!!!
And no one comes…well barely anyone. Because…well…it’s like my tenure at Big-Mart and we started every (EVERY) meeting with the company song and hand waving. And let me tell you, no one ever said…”I can’t wait to get to the meeting and sing.” Think about it—lots of folks don’t like to sing. Faster, louder music is not a magnet. And when was the last time you were yowzered up about a Powerpoint presentation?
So, maybe your pastor went with PLAN B and asked your young pubbers, “How do you want to worship?” And one or more said….
“Stop talking at us. We’ve got questions. “
So he’s meeting them where the clink of glasses make the pizza and questions about war, sex, stealing, and dealing with the pressure of work and classes flow into conversation.
Sure…you perhaps could force your son to worship. Tell me how that works out for you. For him?
In the meantime, find out if your pastor needs support (buying food, providing transportation). Young people aren’t coming to the church, so the pastor is shouldering a backpack of caring and going out where they are, creating and satisfying a hunger. I’d say it probably gets the job done better than wailing or clapping to a song on Sunday morning if they don’t want to be there..