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How do we handle modernity?

That is a question I recently posed to ministers in my church; how do we handle an ever-evolving church and Christian, without the church leadership compromising with sin and the world?

I remember a friend who ministers with an Anglican church in town telling me how in the early noughties, their church grappled with the youth feeling disenfranchised by the way traditional services were structured, and were leaving to join Pentecostal churches, especially Watoto, which has a youth-friendly structure.

After some time, the Anglican church leadership went back to the drawing board and it was agreed that to keep the youth in church, some things needed to change. They introduced a charismatic service that is mostly patronized by the youth, where organ/choral music is replaced by a keyboard, drums, guitars, etc.

They introduced other youth-friendly programs that rivalled what was in Pentecostal churches, and suddenly, the young people were interested and involved in their church. Back to the Pentecostal church.

We are used to “Pentecostals don’t do this, Pentecostals do this that way”... But there is a generation that is challenging the status quo and they are not afraid to make their pastors and church elders squirm uncomfortably.

The men are turning up with braided hair, dreadlocks, body piercings, but drunk in love for Jesus Christ. Are you going to turn them away or force them to cut the hair off to conform with your congregation? Isn’t that going to send them back to the world they just abandoned?

What about the young women that do not care about your church’s dress code and will come to Sunday service wearing the trendiest but skimpiest outfit? Will you spend your sermon lecturing them about “tempting the brothers unfairly” and risk hounding them out of the church?

I will take it a notch higher: imagine someone came to the pastor during counselling and said s/he is homosexual, but “the Lord is leading me to fellowship with this ministry”...

Are you going to loose fire and brimstone and throw them out of the sanctuary by their ear? I don’t have answers, but I believe the church needs to start having these difficult conversations with herself.

So much is changing, and the church is not an island; it sits squarely in this world that is driving all the change. How does one handle the change without losing one’s godly principles and without giving up a single sheep that God has brought to your flock?

That is the question.

malita@observer.ug

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0 #1 apollo 2024-02-21 08:38
Matthew 5:48
King James Version
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
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0 #2 Ronnie 2024-02-22 16:34
My Sister Malita, you have posed a very difficult question.

I thought you were going to give us an answer. I already have a retake.
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