Adult Church

In discussions recently, the expression church for adults was used.  It seemed like an interesting and worthwhile comment at the time.  Now I am wondering what that might mean.

For one group of adults, I suspect it means church with no fooling around or unsettling surprises: predictable style of worship; no unexpected demands; thoughtful content.  The music will be comfortable and of a high quality.

For another group of adults, I suspect it means church content that includes ten dollar words, challenging theological content (none of the simplistic theology often associated with Sunday School), and opportunity to participate in leadership and discussion.

For some, adult church will include coffee or other beverages.

Personally, I prefer music with words that are theologically appropriate and spiritually uplifting and melodies that are beautiful and engaging, prayers that are thoughtful, and stories and messages that either comfort the afflicted or afflict the comfortable — push us to reach for higher standards of conduct and thought. There needs to be an atmosphere of love and acceptance of everyone, and a sense of hopefulness.  After all, gospel means good news, and churches should look and feel like good news.

On reflection, I wonder what others might desire in church appropriate for adults, and so I toss the question out to those who read this blog.  What do you want in a worship service? Also, when would be the best time for a worship service for adults?


  1. wvalleau says

    Often, what we think is best is what we are doing right now. For example, the 10:30 time seems very good as it blends well with coffee time (lunch for many, I expect). No doubt, other times could provide a similar social opportunity, but this one doesn’t seem broken.

    The older I get, the less inclined I am to see change as beneficial. I appreciate thematic services based on the Lectionary readings. I remember how delighted I was when I “got it” that hymns and anthems and sermons were all planned to support and extend scripture readings. Further, I have always appreciated that, for the most part, Christians everywhere are on the same page, as it were.

    When it comes to theology, I like the K.I.S.S. principle. Why use Greek when Anglo-Saxon does well? I understand complex ideas much better when nobody muddies the water with ‘ontological’ concerns. With Hamlet, I say, “To be, or not to be; that is the question.” So, I am all for priceless ideas and pennyworth words.

    Adult I am, but my understanding is often both child-like and childish. While I know that Paul wrote, “When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things,” I also know that Jesus said, “Except ye become as a little child, ye shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of God!” So, perhaps an adult service would be best designed to resolve this paradox (to use a Greek-ism.) It seems to me that skepticism and cynicism born of the disappointments of the daily grind continually crowd out simple faith.

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