Thursday, October 07, 2010

Tribal Church

I'm close to finishing Tribal Church by Carol Howard Meritt, and I think I can safely say that any church that has any inclination to reach out to young adults should have folks reading this book. It raises many good questions and challenges the church to be intergenerational its focus. With its words rattling around in my brain, I observed some wonderful thing at Harpeth Presbyterian Church last night:
  • James Peeler and I took a group of middle-schoolers to Stratford High School yesterday afternoon to help prepare a newly renovated space for tutoring provided by Martha O'Bryan Center. At one point, Peeler was standing in a dumpster making sure we got every last bit of old carpet in there. James Peeler is the kind of man any parent would want spending time with their kids, whether their kids are 4, 14, or 24.
  • We returned to church to see little Asher Brown (age 2) walking down the hallway screaming and crying for some reason. Two teenagers saw him and rushed to his aid and swooped him up and made sure he felt loved as his mother chased him down. Those teenagers treated him as a little brother.
  • Our church choir has teenagers, college students, young adults, young parents, empty-nesters, and retirees who all gather each week to prepare as worship leaders. There's a buzz in the room as all of these generations spend time together. As rehearsal was gearing down, I looked over and saw the hand-written prayer that our un-official (yet official) chaplain, Carol Bradley, had prepared for the evening. Each week she shares a prayer that she has written and all those generations are enriched.
Is Harpeth perfect? No. Are there ways for us to improve the way we reach out the young adults? Yes. Yet, in many ways, I'm proud of Harpeth for valuing the input of all of God's children, whether they be 2 or 92 or somewhere in between.


Craig said...

Beautiful stuff.