However he is also old AND also "with it." He doesn't need hand holding. His mind is still sharp and this combination allows him not only to have wisdom but to make observations and think things through resulting in interesting epiphanies. So when we run I'm not tolerating a discussion with somebody just for the sake of having somebody to talk to, nor am I wishing I had my MP3 player so I could listen to a more interesting podcast, I'm simply discussing things with him.
In our latest run he was talking about a church in Milwaukee. He was a pastor and kind of keeps tabs on "the industry." And apparently there is this "rock star" of a pastor coming out who is turning one of Milwuakee's ghettos into a nice place (of course while the Milwaukee's teachers union and leftist thugs fight against it). Regardless, the pastor, paraphrased from my dad said something to the extent,
"The future of the congregation and religion in general is not going to be buildings, but the internet, podcasts, and Youtube videos."
I had never thought of that.
Like radio, the "religion industry" is headed up by old farts who largely are incapable of seeing how the internet will shove an entirely different business model down their throats. Young people don't want to spend the money on gas going to church, let alone sit with a bunch of old farts who want to sing and go through 45 minutes of BS just to get to a sermon that might be marginally good. Additionally, they don't have the money to tithe, those that donate in the first place. But notice how something as simple as podcasting can completely revolutionize religion.
First, people are not stuck with the pastor sent to their local community. Like podcasting, they can go on the internet, select from thousands of podcasting pastors.
Second convenience. No more wakey wakey at 6AM to catch the early service. You download it, put it on your MP3 player, and go running while listening to Reverned Bob tell you about St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians.
Third, no more buildings. Again, like radio, buildings and capital equipment are expensive. But with the internet and podcasting, nearly all capital expenses are eliminated. A rock, solid pastor with a laptop and internet access can smoke any established old fart pastor with the church's largest temple. He can also attract more donations, a higher percentage of which now can be donated
Fourth, higher quality sermons. Not just because people can choose from more pastors, but with out all the singing, rehearsing or (god forbid you're Catholic) standing,kneeling,jumping, squatting,calisthenics, that leaves more time for the sermon. Also, the pastor only has to record it ONCE. He doesn't have to do late service, early service, Saturday service, etc. He just uploads it and they're off to the races.
There are other benefits, but like all old, established organizations, I'm very interested to see if the old guard will embrace these changes (as they would not doubt immeasurably improve the quality and religious life for many religious followers) or if they will fight against them because it would undermine their control and force some of them to give up their fiefdoms.
Guess where my money's on!