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We’re all broken. We’re all uncool. We’re all in need of a Savior.

31 March 2012

This video is quite funny, and should be familiar to anyone that has ever sat through a self-consciously hip service at a mega church. Perhaps the fact that it was produced by a megachurch shows an encouraging capacity for self criticism.

I for one have zero interest in a church with a fair-trade coffee bar, its own iPhone app, or a pastor who looks like Justin Bieber. I’m sure that some will want to point out to me that none of these features are inherently wrong, and that they can of course be used by good people to do good things, but still  I find myself more interested in belonging to a church with a cool factor of around zero.I want a church that includes noisy kids, old liturgy, bad sound, weird congregants, and amateur musicians. Why? Well, for one thing, when the gospel story is accompanied by a fog machine and light show, I always get this feeling like someone’s trying to sell me something. It’s as though we’re all compensating for the fact that Christianity’s not good enough to stand on its own so we’re adding entertainment and snacks.

But more importantly, I want to be part of an uncool church because I want to be part of a community that shares the reputation of Jesus, and like it or not, Jesus’ favorite people in the world were not cool. They were mostly sinners, misfits, outcasts, weirdos, poor people, and sick people.

Jesus taught us that when we throw a banquet or a party, our invitation list should include the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. So why do church growth/marketing advocates always seem target the young, the hip, the healthy, and the resourced?

Some of us wear our brokenness on the inside, others on the outside. But we’re all broken. We’re all uncool. We’re all in need of a Savior.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Dave permalink
    31 March 2012 3:53 pm

    I was raised in a small town (270 people by the 1970 cencus) General Conference Baptist Church. Many years later, I started at a Vineyard Church in Denver, Colorado and didn’t stay more than a few months. My years in an Episcopal Church ran a full ten years and it for a few years had around 600 people on the books. Their numbers were well spread out across many small groups and activities. For just over 10 years I’ve been in the Eastern Orthodox Church and attending with fewer than 200 hundred in total and usually less than 100 at any service. Were together on your point.

  2. Jess permalink
    5 April 2012 12:05 am

    When I first began attending church again I attended one campus of a mega church. It was good for me at the time and God did grow me there in certain ways (especially since I was very much against going back to church after becoming a Christian). However, I have to say I totally agree with you on most points. I now attend a much smaller church and what I love about it is the fact that everyone is accepted just as they are, and “cultural icons” are rarely used. Every sermon is not based on something hip in pop culture, and people come to actually know Christ there. We are all there for Christ, not to judge each other. Churches should not, in my opinion, mirror business marketing techniques. Those techniques might get some people in the doors but most end up missing the point. We don’t need to try to sell Christ, and for those who are actually seeking him there is a good chance that they won’t find him (the real Christ) in a “hip church.”

  3. 7 April 2012 3:23 am

    thank you so much for a profound thot, succinctly put!

  4. 20 November 2012 12:01 pm

    Reblogged this on servehiminthewaiting and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  5. 11 May 2013 12:16 am

    It’s fantastic that you are getting ideas from this article as well as from our argument made here.

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