Apologizing for Christianity at Urbana 18

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WallyMorris's picture

So . . I thought all the "cool" tactics churches were doing in order to be relevant was supposed to keep churches engaged with the culture, make evangelism more effective, and keep teens and young adults from drifting away. Looks like they're drifting away.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Jim Welch's picture

This phrase is repeated over and over again in the video.  I reject it.  I did not do those things.  Did some Christians?  Maybe?  Probably?   But to repeatedly say, WE, is wrong.  I thank God for I John 1!  

TylerR's picture

Editor

Local vs. universal church distinction comes to mind ...

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

So . . I thought all the "cool" tactics churches were doing in order to be relevant was supposed to keep churches engaged with the culture, make evangelism more effective, and keep teens and young adults from drifting away. Looks like they're drifting away.

Strikes me that using uncool tactics--I concede this in my own life, not a slam on you, Wally--also seems to have a lot of the same effect, really.   There's a lot of introspection we might put on ourselves to figure out why the church in general, and our movements in particular, are shrinking, no?

And really, that's the crux of what the video is, albeit imperfectly, trying to do.  It's good to own your own weaknesses--it helps you to avoid making the mistake again.  The one quibble I've got, really, is that to do this effectively, you've got to get a feel for your own personal crimes, too.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ron Bean's picture

While there are some who've taken the "new and cool church" idea to an extreme and found that it failed, I'll venture the assertion that there are some who've gripped the 1950's church model with white knuckles and are trying to figure out why the younger generation has moved away to doctrinally sound churches that don't fit that model.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

WallyMorris's picture

I'm not advocating for 1950s style or any "style". Just making the simple comment that more than a few Evangelicals and Fundamentalists bought into being "cool" as a way to attract young people and keep them doctrinally "sound". Doesn't seem to be working as well as some hoped. Just look at Wheaton College - what a MESS.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Ron Bean's picture

I didn't mean to imply that you were advocating 1950's style Christianity. 

I was just commenting from my personal observation. (BTW I really don't like the "broad brush" approach in describing anything.) We just moved back to Greenville SC (with churches on every corner) after 35 years and the church scene is interesting. We visited a lot of churches when we got here and noticed some things. There are a number of churches that haven't changed in those years and a good number of those are notable in that their membership is smaller and older. We've also seen some "new and cool" churches plant, grow, and then disappear (clouds-thunder-but no rain). We've also seen seen doctrinally sound churches that are different than the churches an old guy like me grew up in. Dress is casual with everything from suits and ties to jeans. There are old hymns and good newer hymns (SG/Getty/etc.) and we're fussy about our music but this stuff is good. There's a lot more emphasis on getting involved with other members (one anothering) outside of church meetings. And these churches are growing and not just with young people. I'm finding more people in the over 60 crowd joining these churches as well. It may be early dementia.........but it may be something else. (That was meant to be humorous.)

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

WallyMorris's picture

Of course, Ron, the questions then become "What is acceptable and still Biblical?" and "What is simply conforming to the culture in order to keep the doors open?", telling ourselves that we haven't "crossed the line" in order to feel good about we are doing and using results to justify the changes. Declining churches don't necessarily mean something is wrong and growing churches don't necessarily mean everything is OK. Of course, these are perennial questions that won't be decided here. I have some articles in the pipeline at P&D about some of this.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com