Stages of Growth and Being Big Tent Christians
There is something of interest, an irony perhaps, in the relative ages of those who push for a “big tent” concept of Christ-following. Maybe I’m premature in this suggestion, and will have to revise it after being at the Big Tent conference in February. So far my involvement has been very peripheral.
But it does seem that much of the push for more inclusiveness, more emphasis on commonalities than on differences, more desire to respect despite disagreement is coming from Christians of about age 20 to 40, and little from those over 50 or so. Now, it takes a few years to get trained and then well-settled into leadership positions, so leaders and organizers we’d expect to be a bit older, and they probably are, but I think they still average young for leaders overall.
So the irony is this, at least from my understanding of how personal and spiritual development takes place: That the perspectives and maturity needed to BE more inclusive, to show mutual respect without abandoning one’s own convictions, to work effectively together, etc., are being demonstrated more by younger rather than older, supposedly more mature people.
I have a couple hunches as to why this may be going on, particularly at this time, and will continue on this theme in days to come. But what are your observations and thoughts on this seeming reversal of what we may think of as normal processes of development?