Age Segregation

Michael Glodo writes:

“The Church, as a demonstration of God’s riches and power, should be made up of people who would normally not associate with one another otherwise. Conversely, the church where this reconciling effect is absent testifies to the absence or impotence of the Gospel. This raises a very serious question. I realize this will be controversial, not so much because the doctrine is not clear, but because its consequences strike at some of the most deeply ingrained practices of many evangelical Christians. Of course, an obvious implication is that racial and economic segregation in the church are contrary to the very nature of the Gospel. It also makes clear why class bigotry is hostile to the Gospel. But another conclusion also seems inescapable: churches, and more specifically worship services, which are targeted to specific age groups to the exclusion of others share a fundamental failure to comprehend the heart of the Gospel. The problem plainly stated is that building the church on age appeal is as contrary to the reconciling effect of the Gospel as building it on class, race, or gender distinctions. Add to this conclusion the fact that the family is the normal way in which the Gospel is to be propagated. The primary way in which the Gospel is to come to young people is through older generations. Anything that reduces interaction between generations in the church works counter to the covenant family.”

This has a lot to do with how I do church and friendship and small groups and Sunday-lunches and socials. What is the common bond at my church? Do people feel left out because something other than Christ seems to be a basis of unity? Should small groups so overwhelmingly segregate age groups, regardless of the immediate benefit of easy connections? Should I keep exclusively inviting so many people of the same age group to lunch? What can I do to have substantial interaction with much older and much younger believers in Christ? God is glorified in a diverse church, because it more clearly points to the one Lord, one faith, and one baptism that unites us.

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