18 Church Trends (and More!): Trend 13

Continuing my highly derivative series on church trends, the next six are from Carey Nieuwhof’s post 6 Disruptive Church Trends That Will Rule 2017.

Trend 13: Cool Church Will Morph

[H]aving great preaching, a great band, and even lights and haze is less a guarantee of growth.

The reason ‘cool church’ was effective for a few decades is because most churches were so bad. So Christians (and a good share of non-Christians) gravitated toward a new breed of churches that were bridging the cultural gap. …

Having great preaching, a decent band and an awesome facility or environment is not a bad thing. It beats having terrible preaching, pathetic music, and a dingy facility.

But unchurched people are increasingly interested in the mission more than the method. They want to meet Jesus.

They have enough cool in their lives. They don’t have enough Jesus.

In the Churches of Christ, we don’t see a lot of “cool church” except in youth and campus ministries. And my observation is the same as Nieuwhof’s: the appeal is quickly declining as young people prefer authentic discipleship to coolness. Then again, bad music, bad preaching, shoddy facilities, and such will not help any ministry of any kind. We need to care enough to do things well.

But the goal isn’t to be hipper (is that still a word?) than the church down the road. It’s to help our young people find and learn to live like Jesus. That would be really, you know, cool.

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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One Response to 18 Church Trends (and More!): Trend 13

  1. Eric Thomas says:

    He makes a great balanced argument. It’s not about being hipper than the church down the road, though boring everyone to sleep because your anti cool is another thing. I find authentic people to connect and grow and serve with is most important. I get the impression that some ministries feel staying up to date with culture somehow automatically means compromising values. You can have both great ministry that people enjoy. No need to compete with another church. If someone is happy at the church down the road they’re going to church and they are happy, great. Right. Assuming the church down the road is teaching the gospel and serving and so on.

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