There are millions upon millions of people that love Jesus and gather to worship every Sunday. But having people from as many as five generations trying to do something together can be challenging. There are endless variations of ways to conduct services, sing, study the Bible, reach out to the community, support missions, have classes/youth activities, etc. Each generation has strong feelings about how exactly to do those things.
The author wrote this book in a unique way. Although it’s non-fiction, it’s written as fiction. The only characters in the story that are real people are the author and his wife; other characters are prototypes of church members you might have. The setting: a church that is slowly dying because most of its members are older, and the younger people have disappeared. So the pastor gets a small group of church members to meet twice a week to talk about how to re-connect with the younger generations and re-invent the church.
Some parts of the book were agonizing to read. It just seemed like the odds of being able to actually have services and programs that were relevant for everyone were all but impossible to achieve. What was good for one group was not for another group. But in the end, the only thing that really worked was different age groups getting to know and love each other, and a willingness to alter the way they did things without changing their basic mission of helping people find Jesus.
What stood out the most to me was how individualized each church has to be to make it really thrive. There is no one formula that every congregation can follow, and be guaranteed happiness and growth. And just about the time you think you have things running smoothly and everyone’s getting along and your numbers are increasing…things will change again.