I spent the day today at the “You Lost Me – Live” seminar/conference/panel conversation today, which was sponsored by the Barna Group. Much of the day was given to talking about cultural differences between generations. In particular, the conversation revolved around the truth that the mosaic (millenial) generation is coming of age in a world that is ridiculously different culturally from the world Gen Xers, or Boomers, or any previous generation has emerged into.
That part of the conference was good, and applicable across different Christian traditions. However, the other thing I noticed is the cultural differences there are between Evangelical Christianity (in which, it seemed, most of the attendees today are rooted) and Mainline Christianity. There was a great deal of in-group language that I didn't identify with.
To be fair, if any one of the folks who was there today were to come to a Lutheran, or a Mainline, conference, they'd have the same experience as I did today. I imagine they'd hear a lot of in-group language and assumptions, and they'd feel just a little bit on the outside at the same time that I would be perfectly comfortable.
I wonder if we, as church leaders, ought to make a more concerted effort to talk with each other more often. It couldn't hurt to understand our neighbor a little better, could it?