Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Are You A "Skin Tag" Christian?

My pastor, Will Davis Jr., used a crazy analogy this past week to illustrate the life of many Christians. He said many are like "skin tags", those little extra growths of skin we get that have blood pumping through but are absolutely good for nothing. I was laughing at the metaphor as he explained that these "skin tags" are like the spiritual lives of many Christians. They may have the spiritual blood of Christ running through them, but apart from attending an occasional church service, they are pretty much useless to God's kingdom. Kind of gross but it is a good analogy.  Watch the full sermon here.

It is my observation that my generation of Christians (baby boomers) is overflowing with "skin tag" believers. You'll find a lot who attend mega churches, those who want to pop in and out without being noticed. Our generation created the mega church phenomenon. Many have little to no investment in the church they attend and yet they believe they are doing their "Christian duty" by attending occasionally.  

One of the reasons I think this is so prevalent in my generation is that we baby boomers are experts at compartmentalizing our lives. We set aside Sunday mornings for church and a certain amount of days during the week for work and then some for rest or recreation. We live to keep them separate. And so, it is very easy for us to keep our spiritual life from intersecting with our daily life. 

One of the refreshing aspects of the millennial generation is that these young adults seek a different lifestyle than that of their parents. They don't compartmentalize as much. They want a more integrated life instead. Take work for example. They want life, not just a work/life balance. They would like to have time for their friends, family, hobbies, and other small pleasures and pastimes. They work to live, not live to work, and so they want their work to be fun and meaningful.  As one millennial put it, "I want my job to align who I am with what I do".  The older generations may look at them as lazy but I don't begrudge them for wanting to live an integrated life.  

This applies to their faith also. Millennials want to be able to live their faith 24/7.  It's not only a Sunday morning thing for them, it is a lifestyle!  That is what the first century Christians experienced and is what life in Christ should be. But that hasn't been the case for many Christians for years now. 

That may be changing as this new integrated life mindset is having an affect on the church today. The missional movement and the idea of "you don't go to church, you are the church wherever you go" are concepts that have been brought about because of this change of perspective.  There is a higher expectation to being a follower of Christ now, focusing more on application of faith than just knowledge.

It may be harder in the future to be a follower of Christ because of this. So there may be a decline in those who say they are Christians, but those who choose to follow Christ will be more devoted and hopefully a much better model of Jesus to the world than my generation of believers.
For more about the work habits of millennials, check out this blog post, 8 reasons millennials seem lazy at work.

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