Your grandkids will laugh at you.
That’s because grandparents are funny. Your grandfather tries to hide his bald spot, which now covers his entire head. Or your grandmother keeps the sun out of her eyes by wearing ginormous wrap-around sunglasses. Besides that, they’re often times stuck in their old-fashioned ways, and there’s nothing you can do about it, even if their wasy are absurd.
Going to church with my grandparents was always a little different from the usual church experience. They had organ music with hymnals and everyone looked like they had fifty years of practice at singing all the songs. The pastor gave a nice, predictable message about Jeee-SUS! It was nice to visit, but my church was much better. We had better songs, and a screen up front, and better messages, and the building smelled better.
Then I realized something. One day, I’ll be old. And my bald spot will need to be covered by some wisps of hair. And my grandkids will probably laugh at my church.
Four Things My Grandkids will Laugh At
They’ll Laugh at Our Music
I know you’re church’s music is probably pretty awesome. That’s a huge reason people go to church – to hear music. I see you over there, slightly raising your hands like a worship ninja. You’re not calling attention to yourself like that guy going nuts in the front row. You’re just lifting your hands high enough that God can tell what’s going on. That’s okay! It’s bound to happen when you listen to the most incredible worship music God has ever inspired people to write.
But you know what? I don’t care how “uplifting,” “relevant,” “authentic” or (can we please put this word to death forever) “contemporary” you think your church’s worship is. In thirty years, you’ll probably still be attending the “contemporary” worship service, becuause you’re awesome. But “contemporary” by that time will now mean “traditional,” and they’ll have thought of another word to mean “cool” to young people. Your church will do this because by that time, you and your friends will be a bunch of crotchety old people who won’t want anything in church to change, and it will be easier to just let you have your “contemporary” worship at, while everyone else does the new thing.
In thirty years, your kids will groan and shake their heads in shame when you start to sing your favorite worship songs to yourself. Even a guy like Carlos Whittaker, whose like the Chuck Norris of worship music, will sit down with his grandkids to pluck out a few worship tunes, and it will sound awesome to you and I, but a little foreign to them.
They’ll Think Our Fashion is Hilarious
It’s a known fact that fashions come and go. But I still can’t imagine laughing at what I’m wearing today. How could I go wrong with jeans and T-shirts? But when we look at old photos of ourselves, we can never believe what we chose to wear that day. We never learn!
Many pastors and church leaders today put a huge amout of effort into having the right look. You know what I mean. Now that guys aren’t limited to suits and ties, they can go in any direction with their wardrobe. The result is ripped boot-cut jeans, studded belts, deep V-neck shirts, tattoos, piercings, retro glasses, and guys trying to squeeze more metrosexuality out of a haircut than the laws of nature allow.
And for as cool as we think we all look, our grandkids will point and laugh at our digital photo albums. Speaking of which…
They’ll Call Our Technology “Quaint”
Maybe your church has the best laser light show on the block. Good for you. Most churches are still marveling at having a really, really big screen up front where the stained-glass windows used to be (and it’s still a 4:3 aspect ratio, which tells all you laser light church worshippeers how little they understand.) Churches spend millions of dollars on technology. A few churches try to be on the cutting edge of tech, while others are just trying to keep up so they don’t get “left behind.” Because everyone knows you can’t attract twenty-somethings without having a giant, glowing rectangle to hynotize them.
And you know what? All these millions of dollars will be obsolete one day. One day soon. We’ll have to replace it with something else. Because if we don’t, our tech will quickly become something to point and laugh at. One day, you’ll bring your grandkids to church. And they’ll come along obediently, either to humor you, or because your kids are making them. You’ll reassure them they’ll enjoy it, because you go to the “contemporary” service! (Which now means it’s full of people with blue hair). If that weren’t enought, they’ll be really disappointed that your church has a screen up front to view the song lyrics and announcements, when they’re used to a three-dimensional, holographic, virtual worship system.
They’ll play along, but they’ll laugh a little inside.
Will They Mock Our Message?
Almost everything we do today will seem absurd, given enough time. Our grandkids won’t get it.
I don’t care about that. I don’t care that my grandkids will be wearing very different clothing, or playing with very different toys, or singing different songs. When I tell my grandkids I had a blog back in the day, I fully expect to get the same reaction I gave my grandmother when she told me they had to go to the bathroom outside when she was little.
But I wonder about how we’re dressing up and packaging our message. Are we really just putting Jesus in some shiny new, appealing wrapping, or are we changing him? We try so hard to package Jesus in an appealing way so people will come in the door. We stretch Jesus to make him fit our agendas. We pull the Bible apart so it will benefit everything we want to do. We try to make Jesus the metrosexual God we want him to be.
I don’t care if my grandkids laugh at me. But I get the feeling a lot of our grandkids will be laughing at our repackaged, contemporary, fauxhawked, neon red white and blue Jesus too…
…If they even know who Jesus really was at all.
What do you think? What will be hilarious in twenty years? What will your grandkids laugh at? Will they be laughing at us, or our version of Jesus?