Saturday, January 15, 2005

trendiness and church

so, I've been reading and talking about the emergent church lately. I was having an IM conversation with my friend Erin today, and I sent her this article that Kent sent me. She noted this quote:

Tangible, multisensory worship has a currency among younger generations, and this is all to the good. But if this recovery is linked only to generation and style, what will happen when styles change?

so how should the church and trends interact? It seems that if the culture is crying out for something that the church can fill, it's our responsibility to tell people where they can find that thing they're looking for. The transcendence and mystery and depth and wonder you are looking for your life is right here - in the word and the worship of our God!

On the other hand, the church needs to be counter-cultural, and not blown about by the trends of the culture. We're supposed to not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. But when the pattern of this world is looking to be transformed, where does that leave the church?

I think another danger is becoming so trendy, you're only about facade. A church can have an appealing aesthetic and a pastor with cool hair, but in the end, worshipping God is not about having the right pair of shoes and a cool bass line. In responding to the trends and thought patterns of the culture, the church needs to be careful to be rooted in something firmer than the prevailing philosophy. We need to choose elements for our worship that appeal to our sensibilities (postmodern, interactive, or otherwise) but also things that best help us reconnect with God, and with God's people. After all, that is the whole point of having church in the first place.


Bob K said...

But you agree that a cool bass line is pretty important, right?

bethany said...

I have no inherant problems, intellectual, aesthetic, theological or otherwise, with a cool bass line.