I well remember rotary telephones. Along with finger dialing and operator-assisted long-distance calls, there were party lines. These party lines had nothing to do with waiting your turn at a social function; it meant sharing your line with another person or family. At one time having a party line was a real privilege, technology of yesteryear. A convenience of that time.
Technology lasted longer then. What was good for Dad and Mom seemed good enough for the next generation. The most creative changes were found within the pages of comic books, like Dick Tracy and his wrist T.V. Those were the days my friend.
Fast forward to the present. Who needs a rotary phone when most have something that can call anywhere in the world? Plus, it takes pictures/videos, and you can watch a television screen the size of your wrist, thereby proving that Dick Tracy was years ahead of his time. Don’t leave home without your phone.
Where does it end? At what point will there be enough conveniences? Will the new conveniences outlast even a single generation? The inconvenient truth is that knowledge is increasing in these last days. What once lasted 50 years now lasts for 5, or less. Herein lies the challenge of convenience: getting used to something long after its replacement has come-and gone.
The same mentality is true in the Church world. What worked for generations isn’t always working today. This is especially true with methods-particularly with the technologically-advanced generation, better known as our future. These are those young adults, both single and married, between the ages of 18-25. Perhaps even beyond. These fascinating young adults are desperately wanting the truth, but without the rotary-phone approach that worked so well for decades. Affected by sight and sound, this sight-and-sound generation won’t respond to hymnbook-based worship or marathon messages. As someone astutely pointed out: your spirit can’t receive more than your seat can endure. Sometimes less IS better.
The challenge of convenience is enjoying something temporal, while being open to new ways of serving the timeless. Whether a modern oven for that family recipe or screens and lights for worship, let’s be open to the next convenience, all while enjoying what’s before us now.
What challenges are you experiencing with what presently conveniences you?