In-Sight: People Won’t Go For That Today

I’d like to think that this one post could bring an end to the saying, “People won’t go for that today,” but I doubt that it will happen.  But it should.

The statement is absolutely false.  But we hear it a lot from all sorts of people.  It is often spoken when some kind of innovation and/or change is being considered.

But the fact is, people “go for” almost anything today.  Some of it is not good, but even keeping our thinking connected to things that are good, there is an amazing variety of things people “go for” today.

I began to consider this seriously when one of our “20 something” seminarians came back to school in the Fall.  I asked her what she had done during the summer, and she said that she spent about half of it in Taize.  Without any prompting from me she went on to say, “It was really cool to worship God using Latin chants!”

In that moment, I was taken back to the times when certain “experts” were alleging that post-moderns will not “go for” traditional worship.  But the allegation is not limited to worship styles.  Keeping our conversation limited to church stuff, the variations can be seen in Bible translations, ministry models, small-group experiences, mission involvement, etc., etc, etc.

People “go for “multi-rank organs in cathedrals, and electric guitars on makeshift church stages in rented public schools.  They pray in Latin chants and unknown tongues.  They carry their Bibles under their arms and in their I-phones.  They worship God under flying buttresses and under the stars.  People “go for” all sorts of things.

God does too.  Just look at the staggering variety in creation.  In our attempts to reach people, nothing that squares with the Christian tradition should be ruled out. No person, plan or historical period should be idolized or shunned.   Everything should stay on the table during periods of discernment.

At least let’s have the honesty to admit that when someone asserts that “people won’t go for that today,” what they really mean is , “I don’t like it.”

That’s okay, but it shouldn’t be sufficient to shut down the conversation.  “Our God is an awesome God!”

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
This entry was posted in In-Sight. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to In-Sight: People Won’t Go For That Today

  1. marcie miller says:

    AMEN!!! You have their number, whoever they are who say this! Spot on, as they say. Great post!

Comments are closed.