September 20, 2010
Ending Age-Segmented Worship
Is age-segmentation the same as racial segregation?
Last month Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale ended its model of offering multiple worship services designed to appeal to different ages, likes, and styles. Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor and a contributing editor to Leadership Journal, said "The best way a church can demonstrate unifying power of the Gospel before our very segregated world is to maintain a community that transcends cultural barriers," Tchividjian said in a sermon last month. "The church should be the one institution, the one community – this countercultural community – in our world that breaks barriers down."
An article at The Christian Post reports:
[Tchividjian] listed some of the drawbacks of segregated worship. In a traditional worship service, the church inadvertently communicates that God was more active in the past that He is in the present, he said. In a contemporary service, the church communicates that God is more active in the present than He was in the past. But a church must communicate God's "timeless activity," he indicated. The megachurch pastor also said he doesn't view separate worship services by style or age as any different from racial segregation, except that it's more subtle.
LJ has been reporting on the trend away from age-segmented ministries and worship in recent years, but its difficult to know if this trend has staying power. It seems that Coral Ridge is going in this direction for philosophical and theological reasons and not merely pragmatic. Time will tell if they stay the course.
What do you think about the decision? And what do you think will happen if the church grows and requires more space- is multiple services the only answer?