Several weeks ago, I wrote about my search to find a place to workout that met all my requirements of cost, location, and of course free parking. I described my frustrations with the progress and how I came to understand that many people feel as discouraged about finding a church as I did a gym.
Well, I am happy to report that a month ago, I made the plunge and found a gym that met all of my requirements. (I waited a month to say anything, in case it didn’t stick). I am now a member of a local YMCA branch. It is not the fanciest place with the most high tech equipment, but when I heard that there was no joining fee and no quitting fee, I knew I had my place. Plus, it seemed that the group classes (which are a great motivation for me to actually go) seemed to meet my schedule as crazy as it is.
I’m still in the exploratory phase of trying to figure out what classes or aspects of the Y that I will visit on a regular basis. And, as I found myself in a Zumba class last night (looking ridulous, I might add), my mind couldn’t help but wonder again, how my experience is a lot like the church . . .
Here I was in the class, that from the outside would seem like a place that “younger” attendees would like- it is dance afterall! But, such was far from what I found.
I was the youngest person in the class by at least 10 years. I was doing Indian dance poses next next someone who could be my grandmother. And, while I love people who are my elders, and had a wonderful relationship with my grandmother (who is no longer alive), the thought of being in a exercise class full of grandmas was really hard for me. (Plus, if you can’t keep up, you feel even more bad about yourself than when you walked in, which defeats the purpose, I think).
I realized that this is how some people of my generation might feel when they walk in Washington Plaza. Though our young professional group is growing (we’ve increased in numbers of the under 40 crowd by over 100% since January), Washington Plaza is led right now by some very dedicated grandmothers and grandfathers and those who might be grandmothers or grandfathers in a couple of years.
And, it might be hard to consider sticking around when you don’t see as many people who look like you in the congregation. I totally get this. (Hey, I walked out of the Zumba class after 30 minutes because the group just wasn’t for me).
But, at the same time, I think there is something that a church of elders offers the 20 and 30 something crowd. Among many other things, we are given a family that we many of us don’t have locally. We are given the joy of human interaction and fellowship on a weekly basis that know no bounds in terms of age. We are given the opportunity to learn from those who have passionately believed in and worked for an church even when the future looked uncertain.
So, my 20 and 30 something friends, know that you are welcome at Washington Plaza. I believe that as you get to know all of us from this young pastor on up, you will find that we are a lovingly faithful group of people that want to bring God’s kingdom in the ways we can to Reston, VA and beyond. We are on a journey to find meaningful things to do with our time together– a journey that is more about what we do than who does what.
And, maybe I’ll give Zumba with the grandmothers one more chance too . . .