Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rate of Change

In Lon's post on "The Great Emergence" by Phyllis Tickle there is disucssion about these pivotal moments every 500 years or so.  A wave of culture shifting  occurs... even if it takes 150 years to accomplish.

But something I'm wondering in the back of my head is if change occurs faster these days.  On NPR's Weekend Edition, May 1, there was a story about how small generations are becoming.  It is an interview with Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University, and he talks about how the cultural generation gap has shortened from 25 or so years to only 6-7 years.  Now, much of the story has to do with how technology is impacting the learning and relating styles of these youth... and because technology changes so quickly, so does culture.   But my question is... if culture is rapidly changing, how will that impact the rate of change of church culture? Can we expect this "great emergence" to happen faster than others? Or is the church a giant slow tortoise?  Will we be able to keep up? 


Chris Epting said...

Good point, Katie. I can't remember if Phyllis addresses this reality in the book or not. Do you, Lon?

I would say that "the faster the change, the harder the push back" from those who are afraid or resist change. But then, there was the Reformation and Counter Reformation! Change has always been tough for some.

Lon Marshall said...

Very interesting question. I see the line of thinking there and see how that is happening even with my own kids who range from 16 to 7. Tickle's book did not address this to my recollection. I would agree with Chris, though when it comes to the church. My experience with "resisters", and with systems theory is you can count on the backlash. You're best approach is to take that into account when designing your strategy to be an agent of change :)