Friday, August 20, 2010

It's about time we acted like radical, almost subversive counterculture

I have been thinking about reaching those who are 50+ "the once were churched". In doing so I have been talking with people who are over 50. Some of the things people have said include:

  • The 50+ group are very hard to get to listen because of their very "once were churched" status.
  • They have generally bought into the spirit of the age that "if there's a god he certainly will know I am basically a good person" ( Judge not lest you be judged" ) or "that it's a load of superstitious nonsense" ( after all we have read Richard Dawkins and the Da Vinci Code ).
  • Most current Christian resources aimed at this group are too predictable, too patronising and too glib.
  • "We do need something else that is just a little bit NOT what people expect from the local Anglicans. It is about time we acted like a rather radical, almost subversive counterculture and not a lot of apologetic folk who people used to listen to (and who people turn to for a reassuring funeral in a nice setting....a bit late for evangelism at that stage )."
Do you agree? How would you go about this?


gbroughto said...


I suspect that some of the 50+ crowd - especially in your neck of the woods - might have an initially warm rush of nostalgia to "radical" "subversive" and "counter-culture" that might also connect with the "once were churched" dimension of their lives.

i.e. something they grew out of once they grew up and became more sophisticated and started reading Dawkins, etc. etc.

of course, there is still a very radical, subversive and counter-cultural Christian way of life to challenge the 50+ crowd, but it has little to do with Woodstock, long hair or owning a Kombi. Instead, why don't they try:
- living more simply, not just more comfortably
- stay in their marriages for the rest of their lives (not seeking release for "good behaviour" after 25 or 30 years)
- using the flexibility that comes as empty-nesters etc to re-orientate life around God and community, instead of trying to organise God and community around themselves...

Won't ever fly. But worth a shot.

Roger said...


Helpful insights-thanks. They certainly resonate with my own experience. I guess I am trying to work out what it will take to engage people in these deeper conversations. We have employed someone with this in mind but as yet have not worked out the most helpful approach/es.