One of the hallmarks of our current society is the desire of many adults to relive their past. We see it in trends like house restoration, increasing numbers of people buying caravans, family tree research. Then there are events like Christmas carols and school reunions. As I have seen this growth in returning to our past I have realised there is a tremendous power in nostalgia.
This power of nostalgia presents a unique opportunity for churches to be in those places, to be part of those memories. Church-initiated events such as Christmas carols, Sunday school camps and christenings are opportunities for churches to build happy memories into people’s lives.
One of things radio has taught me is that we have a unique place in being part of the soundtrack of peoples lives. The music and programs we produce are with them when they go to work or take the kids to school. We are playing in the background when they get good news and sometimes when they hear bad news. We can play songs that bring back happy memories as well as songs that cause them to reflect
Churches too need to learn how to place themselves in the soundtrack of people’s lives. Like a song or a smell or a taste suddenly takes a person back to a childhood experience we need to be in the good reminisces of a person’s life.
The challenge for us as leaders in churches is what happy experiences of God we are building into the memory banks of our community both Christians and non-Christians. The experiences of God should not just be confined to the auditorium but around the streets where we live.
Nostalgia is really people hitting the replay button on the sound track to their life to relive a past experience. My prayer is that you are doing something as a Christian to build a God memory in the lives of non-Christians in your community this year.
PS: As parents we need to be doing the same for our kids.