It was worth doing, though I don't know that I am any closer to the answer. To be fair the presenters actually made that point before they started...there weren't going to be no answers!
Although the discussion was couched in terms of why don't "young people" come to church; I found I couldn't help but think it is not just young people who don't come to church. There are all sorts of adults who I can think of who no longer come to church. Twenty years ago they would have been the usual suspects.
And for all sorts of reasons they no longer come. There are all sorts of reasons for this
- Church has become rather bland and some what boring. It seems stuck, if not in the 1950s, then in the 60s
- The Church has been exposed in some awful scandals. I would maintain that nobody wants to belong to an abusive society and it takes some stamina to work through these issues.
- While we have gone some way towards caring for the abused I don't believe that we have cared well enough for those of us who have been shamed by this awful stuff and still wanted to belong to this sad church. Many of us just have decided we don't want to belong
- We have also been inclined to blame those who don't come for not coming. We should perhaps be more careful to scrutinise ourselves. My friend Fr A says, for example, when we have been taklking about trying to make the church more open to gay people...Why would a gay person believe that the church really loves them? Young people might well ask the same thing, or any of a range of others minority groups
- And to top it all off...Church can be really boring.
Now kids have just decided that they are not even going to get into it, and why would you.
There were some disturbing things about Question Time: Average age...probably 60+;
a sense of desperation amongst those present to get people to come to church; exemplified by questions which seemed to show that what ever the speakers had told us we hadn't heard that maybe people weren't going to come and we should heed the call to "go"
We still don't seem to understand that Christendom has gone, and is not coming back, and what's more we don't want it back