Some Gnarly Thoughts On Trendy Church

Keith KettenringChristian Living, The Uncommon Journey

I sat in a church service Sunday ( a church I don’t normally attend), and wondered. With much that was edifying and Christ-honoring, there was also so much to wonder about, really. It’s not that I sat IN wonder, awed by the beauty and solemnity of God’s presence. It was more the wonder of my own confusion or lostness. I wondered about church becoming a “free-for-all,” try-to-make-everyone-comfortable, innovation-is-priority, prove-a-point, drive-an-agenda experience. 

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Rhonda attended a church a couple weeks ago where “self-expression” was king. Every singer had a solo. People were literally dancing in the aisles. Those on the platform were jumping up and down along with many from the audience. The hair, the clothes, the “look” said, “I’m a hip, trendy, relevant Christian. Follow me.” Self-congratualatory stories were given to prove God’s power and one’s piety. How has the church become such a place of self-promotion, self-expression, self-interest, and self-pleasing? 

3 Competitors 

The success of the service is measured by how it makes me feel. It is a “good” service because it makes me feel good. 

The success of the service is measured by how much new information I receive. It is a good service because I learn something new. 

The success of the service is measured by how creative it is. It is a good service because new, innovative activities are implemented. 

God has been knocked off His throne replaced by Feelings, Information, and Innovation. I sadly wonder. 

Everything Different, Nothing Changes

Have church services become so boring that they must be constantly tweaked to make them interesting and relevant? 

I know what I’m talking about because about 30 years ago I did something similar. Radical differences in our church and morning worship service were implemented. Music became modernized. Small groups replaced Sunday School. Guitars replaced the organ. Casual became the norm. Screens went up, pulpit came down. Novel creativity replaced stale traditions. 

At the time I thought we were pioneering fresh ideas. It turned out we were simply becoming like everyone else. 

So much different yet very little change. 

It makes me wonder. 

Dr. K