Thursday, August 01, 2013

Can People Find Jesus in What We Do?

Blogger's note:  after a hiatus of many months, I'm back (I think).

Christian writer Rachel Held Evans, author of Evolving in Monkey Town (2008), and A Year of Biblical Womanhood (2012) writes on matters of faith and culture … and her perspective merits our attention.  Her July 27, 2013 contribution to the CNN Belief Blog relates her experiences speaking to evangelical leaders addressing the exodus of the “millennial” generation from the church.
Armed with the latest surveys, along with personal testimonies from friends and readers, I explain how young adults perceive evangelical Christianity to be too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
I point to research that shows young evangelicals often feel they have to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith, between science and Christianity, between compassion and holiness.
I talk about how the evangelical obsession with sex can make Christian living seem like little more than sticking to a list of rules, and how millennials long for faith communities in which they are safe asking tough questions and wrestling with doubt.
Invariably, after I’ve finished my presentation and opened the floor to questions, a pastor raises his hand and says, “So what you’re saying is we need hipper worship bands. …”
And I proceed to bang my head against the podium.
The “hipper worship bands” idea is but one of a number of things that we have counted on to bring people in … and they’re still not coming.  Hear me clearly:  there is nothing wrong with a church having a hip worship band … or NOT having one, for that matter.  It’s what we DO with that band (and everything else) that matters.  More from Rachel Held Evans:
In fact, I would argue that church-as-performance is just one more thing driving us away from the church, and evangelicalism in particular.
We’re not leaving the church because we don’t find the cool factor there; we’re leaving the church because we don’t find Jesus there.
Like every generation before ours and every generation after, deep down, we long for Jesus.

That’s enough to think about for now.  The peace of Christ to you.


Blogger Greg Hellams said...

Thought provoking... It's not the form it's the heart truly. I fear that we so often form our worship, style our dress, and build our buildings as a "me too" while skipping the all critical direction of God.

8:07 PM  

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