So a group of people have agreed to work together, to reach goals, to even dress similarly so that others know that they're to be identified together.
They've organized themselves. They have one who guides what they do, one to whom they look as every new situation presents itself. But this guide is set apart from them in certain ways. They have another who is more like them, who governs them from within. Others fill in in assorted positions according to their talents.
But this group isn't doing well. The times have changed. They were once the most revered, the most honored, even the most feared...but lately they haven't inspired these reactions the way they used to. They sit by, ignored, even laughed at. Outsiders have agreed that they're only good for certain functions nowadays, none of which are particularly appealing to those not on the inside.
The group isn't doing well because they're using a set of customs from days gone by. These customs were handed down by a beloved, well-respected, dearly departed patriarch. They worked so well in his day and age...he wasn't to be denied. These customs brought their group such joy, such success, such meaning. These same customs are still used, and by people who were close to him subsequently appointed to his position.
But the world around them has changed. New techniques, new philosophies, new technology has arisen. Others have acknowledged these new developments and have adapted. Certain things now run faster. Multi-tasking has become quite popular. And yet this group, with its traditions from days gone by, forges on, hoping that they will still work, still connect, still address the needs of those who look to them for meaning.
Meanwhile, the world around them keeps marching on. And others wonder if this group will ever catch up. Those who love this group the most ache for them to do just that some day...and may even weep at the thought that those within its ranks still refuse to address what is happening around them.
Am I talking about Michigan football, or the church?