An interesting article was published a few days ago in The Wall Street Journal. It was written by Brett McCracken and entitled “The Perils of ‘Wannabe Cool’ Christianity” McCracken discusses what many youth pastors call the “great graduation evacuation” and outlines attempts that have been made to give the Church a makeover… to make it hip, cool and relevant.
There’s a problem with this however. McCracken, who himself is a young evangelical, writes:
But are these gimmicks really going to bring young people back to church? Is this what people really come to church for? Maybe sex sermons and indie- rock worship music do help in getting people in the door, and maybe even in winning new converts. But what sort of Christianity are they being converted to?
In his book, "The Courage to Be Protestant," David Wells writes:"The born-again, marketing church has calculated that unless it makes deep, serious cultural adaptations, it will go out of business, especially with the younger generations. What it has not considered carefully enough is that it may well be putting itself out of business with God.
"And the further irony," he adds, "is that the younger generations who are less impressed by whiz-bang technology, who often see through what is slick and glitzy, and who have been on the receiving end of enough marketing to nauseate them, are as likely to walk away from these oh-so-relevant churches as to walk into them."
If the evangelical Christian leadership thinks that "cool Christianity" is a sustainable path forward, they are severely mistaken. As a twentysomething, I can say with confidence that when it comes to church, we don’t want cool as much as we want real.
I have told churches where I’ve been a pastor or a youth pastor that how you attract people is how you have to keep them. Do we want them to be attracted to “cool” or do we want them to be attracted to Jesus, His Gospel and fellowship that we have in His midst?
HT: Lisa Graas