The old people beat us to it. They win the contextualization award for the year. Don’t believe me? Check your facebook.
For the young?
Who was facebook made for originally? College students. College students who were looking to keep connected with each other via a better social media outlet than myspace. Then it expanded. First the high schoolers got involved, then it went the other way. Your parents got involved, then their parents. Now we have three generations and people from ages 13 to 93 and beyond on facebook. What does this mean? It means that older folks have begun to use our language to communicate with us and each other.
What about us?
If people who grew up with traditional methods of communication (letters, phone calls, etc) can “adapt” to the changes in communication, why can’t younger people adapt to the culture they enter into? For instance, many people despise older hymns and “can’t” worship to them. But many of the hymns are deeper and truer than modern songs are. What is it about our generation that refuses to break down cultural and generational barriers in the name of Christ? Is it really that hard? Our grandparents have done so in the name of communication, why not learn a hymn or two?
In 30 years
So maybe we don’t have to go backwards. Maybe we don’t need to remember all those hymns and sing them with the “old folks”. But what about us in 30, 40, or even 50 years? Will we be able to contextualize in the changing world? Or will we be stuck in our facebook and twitter accounts as the “young ones” move forward with newer and more exciting forms of communication? It’s interesting to think that one day the people who are complaining that their parents are behind the times will be behind the times themselves. Keep it in mind as you get old, and in all of it, be sure to keep the Gospel the same within your changing context.