Church, a Geriatric Sanctuary?

Inspiring, Short Services Can Draw the Young

The church often looks like a sanctuary for the elderly. Mind-numbing, long sermons have a lethal impact on attendance.

Moreover, having to recite the same old hymns and prayers week after week is adding to its woes. How can such repetitive bore draw the young who have a million more fun things to do in a fast-faced social, narcissistic world?

The traditional, not charismatic, church has to apply more creativity into its regular format to make it appealing to the congregation, the young and the old.

It has ministries catering to people of all age groups – youth, young adults, the elderly, etc. But a regular service that goes beyond such barriers and brings them all in will be ideal.

Rooted in the Faith

A Change Through Revd Peter Cook: We attend the 11.15 am Sunday service at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Singapore. I have to contend with the prospect of listening to lacklustre sermons that can induce sleep.

Of late, though, a pastor from England, Revd. Peter Cook, has been making a difference with lively sermons that invite attention.

He keeps the audience engaged by pulling up examples from his real-life experiences and relating them to the subject. A smooth flow makes it less distracting. He does not keep the sermons too long – less than 20 minutes.

Among the many pastors over the past several years at the Cathedral, I can see Revd Peter Cook bringing in a refreshing change. So it was today when he spoke about Rooted in God’s Word, as part of the sermon series from the Book of James.

Other Needed Transformations: I would like to see other changes, too:

  • No chanting of the same hymns every week
  • No prayers read out from the book every week
  • A service that lasts no longer than 45 minutes

I am glad my daughters attend the Sunday service with us.

The church has to embrace change and be appealing to the young, not just to ageing people.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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