I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how that breakaway church plants which are filled mostly with 20-3o year olds may be, while well-intentioned, possibly quite destructive to Christianity and also misdirected in terms of utilitzing resources. While often created with claims to desire to be more interested in community, these younger homogenous (like-kind-member) churches often avoid the realities involved in multi-generational differences of opinion and multi-cultural and multi-class differences of opinion which are involved in real community. When a church is made up of a bunch of like-minded hipsters of near identical sociological and aesthetic mindsets, they are likely to not appreciate real differences, and certainly can avoid those conflicts which might lead them to a greater self-reflectivity. At the same time, stealing all the youthful energy and innovation from the established churches means that a. the established churches will suffer and b. that the youthful breakaway churches will use much of their energy establishing foundational infrastructures and those established protocols traditions and material bases which established churches already possessed. In the meantime the established abilties and resources of the established churches are lost to innovative designs as the young have fled to build the wheel again as they pursue their visions without the bother of dealing with people who have opinions differing from their own. All the while opportunities for maturation and reflective interation are lost to both sides.
This is especially important to us at Simple Free since we are a younger group of like-minded people. It seems healthy that many of us also attend a more traditional Sunday service (although some of those are also breakaways of younger like minded people). Thinking about all this has led me to see the importance of being involved in an established church above and beyond simple free, and to seeing that involvement as a ministry to the church at large. That is why I attend 1st Presbyterian Church while also holding Simple Free study and liturgy services here at our house on Tuesday nights….