About a year ago, I was glancing over a random event email at work… just a fairly regular information sheet about what was needed and when for a particular event.
This one was on Easter morning, and one of the newer and larger local non-denom churches in town had rented out the big auditorium so that they could have one big service with everyone in attendance instead of multiple services that morning.
But then, there was this one line in the notes…
"Client has been made aware that they will be responsible for cleaning up after the confetti cannons, and will be charged a cleaning fee for any required staff time if this is not done."
Wait, hold up, confetti cannon???
Yes. Confetti cannons.
Their Easter service was involving a confetti cannon.
I had to laugh.
A couple of coworkers also caught the statement, and we were amused by imagining some older grandmother that only attends church on Easter and Christmas that happened to decide to try out this church, and found. herself under a confetti cannon unexpectedly.
But well, why not?
If you can’t celebrate on Easter, really, when do you have a better reason to celebrate? What better reason do you have to launch some confetti cannons around?
While this wasn’t the church that we currently attend, I could easily see ours using confetti cannons too.
That Easter, in the confetti discussion, one of my coworkers made a comment about it "not being your grandma’s church service anymore".
That phrase has come to mind to me several times recently.
Because, it is sort of true. While there are still a mix of ages, the new church skews really heavily younger. Much more towards young families than towards grandparents. The church we previously attended really ran a wide range of ages, with many multigenerational families where the grandparents, parents, and children all had their place in the congregation. But, if taking an average, the average would have probably still been a bit older than me.
This isn’t my grandmother’s church at all… she would have been ok attending our old, mostly more simple and organic feeling church, but she’d be completely scared off from the loud music alone here.
It very much is your teenager’s church.
It’s your college age kid’s church.
And, I really can’t say that about our old one.
They did have a youth group… that did get together to do things like watch movies and such and go to Christian concerts when they were in town.
But there wasn’t much in the way of, well, joy.
Like I’d mentioned a bit before, a really good part of the reason we’ve been going there is simply because my teenager really wants to go there.
She once made a statement to one of her friends that the Wednesday night youth night was the only thing she really looked forward to during the week between the weekends.
She’s now signed up to help out with the young kids on sunday mornings, even when I made clear to her that if she was saying she was going to do this, it meant that she was making the obligation and that she was going to be waking up and going, every time, no matter if she was tired from the night before or not, if she had friends spending the night or not.
Almost every Friday and Saturday night, she goes skating with an extended group of friends. It gives her some social time to relax, is something that gets her moving, and is relatively cheap. So, I usually drop her off after picking up at least 1 and sometimes up to 3 other friends that can go and have their admission money but whose parents can’t or won’t drive them.
My primary vehicle is my truck, which is a tiny one with standard cab, so this usually means borrowing my mom’s jeep… but, it benefits both Boo and the friends when they get to go have some fun… and it’s pretty much one of those things that my parents never would have made the effort to go back and forth for us, and so I have no real problem with being "bus driver" as I’ve been calling it.
And it means that the kiddos are mostly used to me, and pretty much ignore the fact that a parent is there and have their own conversations that I get to overhear.
The reason I go off on this tangent, is that this week I found myself doing my bus route on Wednesday too… picking up some of these same kids for youth group instead.
And found myself hearing that it was really fun and she wanted to start coming each week… by a girl who also said that she didn’t remember ever going to a church before… and that I know from skating experience generally spends a lot of her time alone at home because her mom goes off with boyfriends and friends and leaves her with her older brothers, who don’t stay around after she leaves.
And while waiting for Boo to fill out the application to help with the little kids, found myself in a conversation with a girl that I know has some major conflict issues with her parents… as she tells me that this place is awesome, she’s never seen a church that was more like a mall (remember, teen girl here, this is a compliment), and that had "real music". The car discussion later revealed that the only church she’s ever attended is the one her grandparents go to, which runs for three hours and is entirely in Spanish, and so she would never take anyone else along because even though she speaks Spanish well, she still doesn’t really understand most of it (my impression here was that it’s catholic.. but I was just listening, so I didn’t confirm that).
They each got a rubber bracelet with the church name and the youth group info on it.. which they all kept wearing even after we left.. that marked them as a visitor to staff and got them ice cream in addition to the regular snacks…
My daughter told them that since they’d been there this week, the ice cream wouldn’t apply next time… and neither of the girls cared at all.
Actually, they started discussing who else in their larger group of friends they could get to come… and how many people could really fit in the back seat of my mom’s jeep… and who else had parents that were likely to drive or who lived on that side of town to be a bit closer.
Nothing against grandmas…. but to me… that’s worth a ton of "not your grandmas church" moments.
Grandma-friendly churches are not in the least bit hard to find. There’s lots and lot of them.
But churches that can get a random group of non-churched teenagers excited and happy about going… not nearly so common.
It’s probably not going to be everything to everyone. Grandmas and teens as a general group are going to have very differing interests and attractions.
But being kind of in the middle of the two… I think I’m ok with going for the side of finding the fun.
Can I admit that I sort of want an Easter confetti cannon? He is Risen! Boom!