While I was at the youth event over the holiday weekend I noticed the cool Christian guy band, as well as their attire of blue jeans, t-shirts, and a button down shirt or sweatshirt thrown over the top. I noticed some of the other (older) cool guys in similar attire and wondered about the discrepancy between age and attire. I also noted the difference between the image of the guy band and the image of the ladies' duo--casual/everyday vs. stylish with cleaner lines. I don't want this to sound like a critique, because it's not, but the differences made me think about transitioning with age, and the general lack of men in church, versus the presence of the feminine counterpart. I had to ask myself: What happens when the cool, hip worship guys start to age and lose their appeal? How do they find a new identity/role within the church? How do we, the church, help them make the transition?
I noted, at least in my experience, that women fill similar roles across the age lines--singing, dancing, teaching, and more and more, preaching. Whereas men, especially of the contemporary music variety, are in the band, and I guess some are teaching, though I see more women at that, and then of course preaching, but then what about when they aren't cool anymore? What about when they are supposed to be "grown up"?
In seminary I talked with male friends a number of times about image--about how they didn't want to "fit in" necessarily with regular Christian men because of the connotations of being pansy, whimpy, unmasculine, too nice, etc. And I wonder if the lack of men in our churches couldn't be attributed to that idea in some way--that men aren't attracted to the church because of the image factor--like that of my seminary friends, or that when they start to get older they leave because they can no longer feel cool and hip as a member of the band (as they get displaced by younger members).
So, back to the question(s): What happens when the cool, hip worship guys start to age and lose their appeal? How do they find a new identity/role within the church? How do we, the church, help them make the transition?